Ruth 1: 1-17 – Little Things
A severe famine came upon the land . So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab, taking his wife and two sons with him. . . . Then Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons. . . . But about ten years later, both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband. Then Naomi heard in Moab that the LORD had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab to return to her homeland. . . . But on the way, Naomi said to her two daughters- in-law, “Go back to your mothers’ homes. . . .” “No,” they said. “We want to go with you to your people.” But Naomi replied, “Why should you go on with me? . . . Things are far more bitter for me than for you, because the LORD himself has raised his fist against me.” . . . But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi. “Look,” Naomi said to her, “your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same.” But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!”
Voskamp focuses today’s devotions on seeing the little things in life. She rightly notes that Ruth is a unique book in the Scriptures in that there aren’t “Big” things that happen – There are no miracles, no “out-of-the-ordinary” events, but instead life is what happens throughout the book – a story about relationships and commitment to others. Voskamp puts it well – “there are no brazen miracles to be seen in the entire book of Ruth. No angels appear stage left, no visions shatter the night, no heavenly hosts are overhead.” She continues by focusing on how the mundane is what is making miracles.
This picture is a rather mundane one. Its just two geese swimming across a lake. But if I was able to capture what happened moments before this, there was something quite unique. I was on a pedestrian bridge looking at the lake when I saw a duck come flying under the bridge and rather low across the lake. This duck was heading right towards these two geese and he proceeded to buzz the geese to the point that the second goose in line had to duck his head down to avoid being hit by the duck. I haven’t seen anything like that before and it was just plain funny (at least to me). It wasn’t anything major, but just ducks and geese and something that I would have missed if I hadn’t stopped to just watch what was going on around me – looking for the mundane and the little things and seeing the divine in the midst.