by Kellie Kinnear
When I was a child, my father played an album called ‘Wherever You Go’, the title track had the same name, it was one of my favourite songs. At the time, I believe it was the quiet, gentle rhythm of the Weston Priory Monks who sang these songs that appealed to me, because, my life was anything but quiet and gentle. It was years later that I came to know that these words were part of a verse in the book of Ruth, here, they became so much more to me than a song I had listened to, they became my heart song.
Ruth 1:16 "But Ruth replied, 'Don't urge me to leave you or turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, where you live, so shall I live. Your people will be my peole, and your God my God...'"
I did not envy Ruth, rather, I saw her character, strength, and dignity as something to aspire to, but I did not have a Naomi. As I struggled through adolescence, it was God who bridged this gap. Throughout these years I did not forget these words and though I did not always live them out, God, in His mercy and grace, continued to reveal why He had given them to me. A ‘Naomi’ did come into my life, many in fact, Praise God, and I soaked up their wisdom like a child. The most revealing aspects of this scripture are the lessons I have learned as a Mother. Ruth left her own mother, her home, and all she knew, not on a whim, but to follow this woman, who was not only precious and dear, she had something Ruth desired. I was and will in many ways always be Ruth, desiring truth and seeking comfort. I am now also Naomi, followed and trusted, a comfort to my children and others. Over the years I have sourced many verses in scripture to illuminate Gods truth into the darkness of sinful human behaviour, but the most powerful word is the unspoken one. Scripture does not specifically tell us how Naomi acted before she set out on the road to Bethlehem, other than to mourn and attempt to send her two daughters in law on their way, but Ruth 1:16 spells it out for us. Naomi was worthy and valued by this young woman, more than this, her God was worthy… ‘and your God will be my God’. The book of Ruth is a picture for us of the redeeming love of God. A story of hope and trust against all odds. The revelation of Christ Jesus our Lord in the midst of a mess.
Wherever we go as women, wives, sisters, mothers, daughters, and friends may we share the gospel and where necessary use words.
Here is a link to the song. I pray you find joy and comfort in the words.
Kellie serves as Women's Ministry Leader and Playgroup Coordinator at Minden Baptist Church. Her joy is to see women, especially Mums, find freedom through knowing they are valued and loved by Jesus. She and husband Sean have 4 children aged 10-21.
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