It was the second time I’d been uprooted in a year. The previous spring, our family said goodbye to some of our dearest friends and moved cross country only to be facing yet another move.
With our belongings crammed into two large storage lockers, we once again said our goodbyes. Not knowing where we’d ultimately land. My husband had found temporary contract work, for which we were grateful, but once his contract ended, we’d likely need to move again, to God only knew where.
Most of our friends, it seemed, forgot us before we crossed the Louisiana-Texas border, and I felt alone and discarded.
So I was surprised when Jenny arrived at our storage locker when I returned months later. She grabbed my daughter’s hand with a smile. “Can I take her for the day?”
Deeply touched, I fought tears. Though it might seem a small gesture, it meant so much. My friend’s offer meant my daughter didn’t have to stand around, in nearly one hundred degree weather with crazy humidity, while movers carried our belongings from their van to our storage lockers.
Ruth, a woman from Moab, showed this same kind of love to her mother-in-law at a time of great need. The death of the men in their family had made them widows during a famine. And yet, all was not lost. Young Ruth could remarry—if only she’d leave her mother-in-law, destitute as she was, and return home.
But Ruth refused, vowing to stay by her mother-in-law’s side, even if it meant personal harm, and God rewarded her because of it. Fast forward to the end of her story, and you’ll see God used Ruth’s selflessness to catch the eye of her “kinsman redeemer,” the man who married her and cared for both women.
We all want friends who’ll stick close during hard times. But are we that type of friend to others? It’s easy to want a Ruth, but it’s much harder to love like one.
The next time you’re forced to choose between showing love and self-protecting, choose love.
~ Jennifer Slattery