Gettin’ all cultured up in here, folks. Assuming you, like myself, don’t read Hebrew, I owe you an explanation. “Hesed” apparently means “loyal love” and it’s the characteristic that describes the girl Ruth in the Bible. Recently I went home for a quick weekend trip to celebrate birthdays and babies and best friends and such. That Sunday at church, the pastor was talking about Ruth, and I really enjoyed his study. For the most part.
Now the part I “don’t like” has nothing to do with him, or what he did or didn’t say, or what the Bible does or doesn’t say. It’s more a qualm I have with our Christian culture today, in general. (Surprise, Surprise! Are you surprised? No? didn’t think so) So the whole thing about Ruth being a woman of loyal love and how counter-cultural that is today is amazing. I love that. I want to cultivate that character trait in myself. But then, you throw a boy up in the mix and suddenly things aren’t as balanced anymore.
Apparently, when Ruth went to this new land where she was completely out of place and unknown, Boaz, this perfect, awesome, Godly, protector noticed her. And he apparently noticed her immediately. And not only all that, but he also heard about her character before he ever had the chance to notice her.
Awwww how sweet.
For Boaz and Ruth.
It drives me absolutely bananas when things like this get peddled as absolute truth. Did that happen? Sure. Are all the things that its happening showed/show us about God and his character still true? Yes. Is this how it will happen for the rest of us? Maybe. If I act like Ruth, will someone else acting like Boaz suddenly become part of my story? Doubtful. Because I’m not Ruth. And No one else is Boaz. They’re people just like we’re people, and for the same reason you acting like me won’t yield for you my results, me acting like Ruth won’t yield to me her results.
You see, it’s easy for me to pursue something by myself, to better myself by seeking objective truth, but I have absolutely no control and nothing to do with who notices. No. Control. And honestly, that’s really hard for me. I hate it. I want control. It’s in my blood. But there is absolutely nothing I can do to make someone else notice anything. And more than that, there is nothing I can do to make anyone else be what I need.
I just need us to stop giving Ruth and Boaz all the credit. God brought them together. Because he knew all about each of them, deeply, entirely. He provided for each of them exactly what each of them needed, how they needed it, when they needed it. And I think it had a lot less to do with what they were doing to get there, and a lot more to do with God’s ultimate plan and sovereignty. I can’t live under the pressure of, well maybe you’re not pursuing hard enough, or giving all enough, or maybe you’re loving more passionately instead of loyally.
Sometimes we are loving as hard as we can. And we are serving God because we want to, and we don’t want anything from it, and we are daily being transformed from the inside out. And no one notices.
That’s okay for/with me.
And I think we need to learn how to be okay with it on behalf of others too.