So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.” Ruth 2:8-9
Ruth heads to the field as an outsider to glean. She is from Moab, a pagan nation often at war with Israel. She is in this field in Israel in a desperate situation—her husband and father-in-law are dead, and she and her mother-in-law need to eat. Recognizing the difficulty of her situation, Boaz includes her. He could just give her bread but instead invites her into his sphere of influence. He sees her as much more than a foreigner as he speaks to her in family terms, calling her “my daughter” (Ruth 2:8). He creates a safe space for her and ensures she has plenty to drink. Boaz invites her in.
Our greatest opportunity to help is with those with whom we are in proximity. Boaz is a great example. Proximity is about relationships. It’s about meeting a need through a relationship. It starts by inviting someone into a relationship to help, but the goal is to develop a relationship that transcends the need. It could be a young couple needing help in their new marriage spending time with a couple in a healthy marriage. Maybe it’s the father of a teenager spending time with a dad who has already navigated those turbulent waters. Or a young adult struggling in his career needing the wisdom of someone with 30 years in the workforce. It could be a new widower connecting with someone who has gone through it before. The need brings them together, but it’s only the beginning.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
As you pray today, if God brings someone to mind, invite them in. Begin to spend time with them to see if a relationship can develop. If no one comes to mind, pray that God gives you the desire to see and meet the needs of someone you might not notice right now.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
August is PRAYER. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.