“And when she (Ruth) came home, her mother-in-law said, ‘How have you fared, my daughter?’ And Ruth told her all that the man (Boaz) had done for her. And she (Ruth) said, ‘He (Boaz) gave me these six measures of barley, for he said to me, Do not go empty-handed to your mother-in-law.’”
The Gifts of the Redeemer
What gifts has my “Redeemer” given to me?
How do I show appreciation for all the gifts I have received at the hand of my “Redeemer?”
“In His love He clothes us, enfolds us and embraces us; that tender love completely surrounds us, never to leave us.”
Julian of Norwich
“…God is able to make all grace abound toward you.”
II Corinthians 9:8
After finding out about the great kindness Boaz had bestowed upon Ruth, Naomi encouraged her daughter-in-law to not only continue gleaning in the field of Boaz, but she also told Ruth that she longed for her to “seek rest or a home.” And because of the relationship Naomi had with Boaz, she told Ruth to go to Boaz at harvest time, during the night, where Boaz lay sleeping.
First of all, this was an extremely bold move for a woman to make. We would even look at this as an aggressive even suggestive gesture on the part of Ruth. Boaz had every right to be shocked, even horrified, by Ruth’s behavior for she uncovered Boaz and lay down beside him.
However, instead of tossing Ruth out the door and accusing her of displaying the actions of a “loose” woman, Boaz was honored by Ruth’s commitment and affection and he spoke graciously to Ruth. What’s more, before she left in the darkness of the early morning, Boaz gave her barley as a gift for Naomi.
I want to focus for a moment on the gracious and generous-hearted nature with which Boaz treated Ruth. The heart of this “Redeemer” was overflowing with loving-kindness. But here’s something we shouldn’t overlook. Ruth’s contact with her “Redeemer” didn’t just bring blessings into her life. The blessings she received also overflowed from Ruth to everyone she touched, including Naomi who was also the beneficiary of the blessings of Boaz.
Doesn’t this fact warm your heart with the knowledge of how we can share the gifts our “Redeemer” has bequeathed upon us to those who live within the walls of our own homes, just as Ruth did for Naomi. From this starting point, the candle we’ve lit can be shared with others. As we commune with our “Redeemer,” receiving from the bounty of His grace, the intensity of His love becomes a contagious gift we willingly share. I love the way Meister Eckhart expresses this thought: “Human beings ought to communicate and share all the gifts they have received from God.” This was what Boaz did – during “Redeeming-Time” – he passed on the gifts he’d received. From one hand to another, blessings were poured out. As Robert Robinson, so eloquently wrote, “Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace; Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise.”
“His love has no limit,
His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundary
known unto men;
For out of His infinite
riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and
Annie Johnson Flint
God’s Unending Mercies
“When all thy mercies, O my God,
My rising soul surveys;
Transported with the view, I’m lost
In wonder, love and praise.
O how shall words with equal warmth
Thy gratitude declare,
That glows within my ravished heart!
But thou canst read it there.
Thy providence my life sustained
And all my wants redressed,
When in the silent womb I lay,
And hung upon the breast.
To all my weak complaints and cries,
Thy mercy lent an ear,
Ere yet my feeble thoughts had learnt
To form themselves in prayer.
Unnumbered comforts to my soul
Thy tender care bestowed,
Before my infant heart conceived
From whom these comforts flowed.
When in the slippery path of youth
With heedless steps I ran.
Thine arm unseen conveyed me safe
And led me up to man.
Through every period of my life
Thy goodness I’ll pursue,
And after death, in distant worlds.
The glorious theme renew.
Through all eternity to thee
A joyful song I’ll raise;
But oh! Eternity’s too short
To utter all thy praise.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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