Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Moabitess Among Us

“Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, ‘Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?’” Ruth 2:10.
Unexpected acknowledgment.  She was one with no anticipated rights - a Moabitess in an Israelite land, a foreigner.  Her forehead rested tightly upon the sawdust floor; she closed her eyes as her heart reeled with reverence, awe and wonderful emotion.  She was tense and weary.  Miniscule balls of sweat congregated across her brow, along the ridge of her nose and in the clammy palm of her hands.  Why, her sanity breathed, why would he care at all about my welfare?  She felt her heart flutter beneath the possibility of his kindness.  She needed this man’s kindness and mercy… .but dare she hope!?
“But Boaz answered her, ‘All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me…’,” Ruth 2:11.
Worlds apart.  You here on the broken Earth, He there in the distant Heavens… .and you thought your gleaning for Naomi, your labor of love, would go entirely unnoticed.  As a matter of fact, you weren’t pining away to be noticed, you were just praying for salvation - a little rest.
“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer.  But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,” 1 Peter 3:12.  The same eyes and ears upon the same face evoke disparate responses.  The righteous bows low to the ground, ever grateful that his or her work has caught the eye of Divinity; that his or her prayer has entered His ear.  Sighs of relief!  My labor is noticed!  I will be rewarded!  I will enter some rest!  However, no such consolation for the wicked who have caught their Creators gaze. Their works have been discovered and the scramble to hide from His frightening face.  “…calling to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne…’,” Revelation 6:16.  The same set of discerning eyes set within the same beautiful Face awakens both a long suffering hope and a violent fear…
The hope of the righteous, of those laboring in love with no expectation of kindness, is that the Divine Heart will, in the course of their history, take notice… .be stirred… .be attentive to their need for reward and rest.  Ruth was pleased to do her service - it was not compulsive or complaining, yet, she, like any human, needed the basics of generous compassion as well.  The heart of kindness that lingered over her bowed low countenance sincerely took her by surprise.  She had not expected it, but, she would gratefully receive it.
She would receive it a hundred fold, actively laying hold of all its possible blessing…
O Lord your kindness is unexpected, but I will take it - I will take it all!  “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!  Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all of his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagles,” Psalm 103:1-5.  I don’t know why you have taken notice of me, but I am reverently gratified with the interception of Your gaze!  I will find reward and rest in You!
The Goel has come…

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