My story is not yet over,
I am still here today
in other people who cross your way -
do you see me?
I am the widow who's lost everything.
I am the foreigner - different and strange.
I am the immigrant in a strange new world.
I am the refugee, left homeless suddenly.
I am the mourning one, uncomforted.
I am your neighbour,
waiting for your love,
wanting to be your friend.
Will you, like Boaz, welcome me,
invite me, accept me, help me?
Will you meet me with words of love,
and be a neighbour to me?
your land to be my land -
will you help me?
Ruth was a Moabite, a foreigner. She had lost everything except for her
mother-in-law. What I admire about her is how, despite having
experienced so much trouble herself, she gave everything to help Naomi,
her mother-in-law. But another thing her story impressed on me was how
there's still many Ruths (not only women but also men) around us today.
Foreigners, people who have had hard experiences, people who have lost
everything, people who are trying to adapt to a new country.
often, the reaction to foreigners is xenophobia. People are always
complaining about immigrants and foreigners, here in Europe the
far-right are harping on and on about "islamisation" and acting very
coldly towards foreigners, especially Muslims, instead of showing them
love and acceptance.
As a Christian I believe we are meant to meet foreigners - whatever their background, race, or religion - with love and acceptance. It's what Jesus would do. It's what Boaz did to Ruth - a woman from a country which had often been the enemy of his!
around you: are there any Ruths there? People who have been displaced,
who are new in the area and still can't find the post office on their
own, who have trouble with the language, who have a troublesome past
behind them and need comfort, who are waiting for you to give them love
and be their friend?
The story of Ruth is not just a story about a
woman who lived long ago that we can read and think "nice story" and
then put it down again. It should make us think today, it should make us
realise what people around us, especially immigrants, foreigners,
refugees, are going through and how we can help them.
Read Ruth 1-2
Take a look at how Boaz treats Ruth.
Where is there a Ruth today whom you can be a Boaz to?
I wrote this simultaneously in German and English, so as to use the German for a mini-sermon back in '12. Can't find the "decent" German one though, only the scrappy version, so... tut mir leid! :( Vielleicht taucht's noch auf...