Saturday, August 25, 2007

The story of Ruth

Today's first reading was from the book of Ruth. I guess after living in Chicago where there are so many immigrants, and being from New Orleans, seeing my family and so many others evacuate, I am more attuned to aspects of the story regarding immigration. In particular, I recognized the peril Ruth was in--she, a Moabite widow, crossing into another people's lands with only another widow to vouch for her. It wasn't exactly a border crossing issue, because those were tribal lands and were protected not by rule of law but by the same kind of tribal bonds we see at work in Iraq. She was at the mercy of the men of Judah. Her widowed mother-in-law was, too. Widows without menfolk simply had no place in society. That makes Boaz' generosity all the more striking. He takes her under his protection. It doesn't matter that she is a foreigner with no real right to be in Judah: he recognizes her human and feminine dignity, and treats her accordingly. And if he hadn't? Boaz would have been another forgotten name, and not the great-grandfather of King David.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Today's blog with its dramatic punch line about Boaz prompts me to dub you the "veiled Paul Harvey." Keep up the inspiring entries. spqr