Creating family out of kindness
So (Naomi) said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said,
“Do not press me to leave you
or to turn back from following you!
Where you go, I will go;
where you lodge, I will lodge;
your people shall be my people,
and your God my God.
Where you die, I will die—
there will I be buried.
May the Lord do thus and so to me,
and more as well,
if even death parts me from you!” ~ Ruth 1:15-17
“I don't care about whose DNA has recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching--they are your family.” - Author Jim Butcher
No mother-in-law jokes here.
For Ruth, Naomi became her mother. She chose to keep her as family despite every custom severing that bond.
Maybe she knew that without family, Naomi, as a widow with no living sons, would be terribly alone. Maybe she truly just loved this mother figure.
Probably a little of both.
Ruth was willing to stand by Naomi unflinchingly when her life could very easily gone to hell in a hand-basket.
We don't know what Ruth's life with her own family was like. All we know is that she was kind to a mother who needed her. She loved a mother who needed her.
She made a new family with a mother who needed her.
Family comes in all sizes and shapes. True family starts sometimes not with blood or DNA, but with an act of kindness. And then, who our family becomes is the best of surprises.
Holy God, move me toward justice, mercy, and humility in all my dealings with your people. Amen