Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, “Who does that young woman belong to?” The overseer replied, “She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi. She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.” Ruth 2:5-7
Ruth is a Moabite, a foreigner who chooses to stay with her Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi. They return to Naomi’s homeland with nothing. Armed with courage and determination, Ruth heads out to the harvesting fields, hoping to glean enough wheat left behind from the harvesters to feed herself and Naomi. Boaz, who owns the field, observes her hard work and wants to know who she is. He sees her positive, forward-moving attitude and decides to reward her movement. He doesn’t give her food to take home but gives her protection, sustenance and friendship to help her keep moving forward to provide for herself and Naomi.
Rewarding someone’s positive movement radically differs from rewarding someone stuck in their problem who desires to remain stuck. This doesn’t mean we help only when someone is showing positive movement. But it means that when we observe positive movement, we then pray for wisdom and discernment on how to help best. This might be hearing about a person trying to support a family with two jobs and a broken-down car, and we work with them to fix the car. Or talking to a parent who attends AA, and we arrange to watch the kids so they can attend meetings. Or seeing a classmate struggle in algebra, we offer to do homework together. In all these cases, we can go beyond our help to offer friendship and encouragement.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Reflect on when someone came alongside you and helped you move forward in a time of need. Thank God for blessing you this way, and consider reaching out to thank that person.
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.