So they both went until they came to Bethlehem. And when they had come to Bethlehem, all the city was stirred because of them, and the women said, "Is this Naomi?" She said to them, " Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Alighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?"
I Spent some time reading about Naomi and Ruth this week, and as I delved more into the story, my heart grew in compassion and understanding of her life. I have four sons of my own, and three of them are married, so I found myself stepping into Naomi's shoes and imaginig her situation. She left her country with her husband and two sons and went to a place that God had forbidden them to go. We don't really know how Naomi felt about going there, maybe she didn't have a choice, she simply followed her family. Then, once she was there she made a home for them. Her husband died. Her sons married wives from the foreign country. Then her sons died. This did not look good for her at all.
At this point, Naomi decides that she is going to go back to her homeland. Her two daughter in-laws want to follow her. She says no. One of them seems relieved and goes back to her parents, the other, Ruth, sticks to her like glue. This is where I begin to really admire Naomi! What has she done throughout the years to love and develop relationship at such a deep level that her daughter in-law is stuck to her like glue? Naomi has lost her family, she is angry and bitter, she does not hold that back. She tells God how disappointed she is in how He has dealt with her. She doesn't seem to recognize the gift of Ruth, she tries to send her away! Yet, Ruth loves her so much and wants to be with her that she will not go!
I admire Naomi. She knew how to build legacy even through crisis. She had the strength of God's Spirit, the ability to be authentic, and true grit!