It was time.
Naomi stopped and stood still, staring down the road in front of her at nothing in particular.
The sun was well on its way up the sky, but the heat was not yet overwhelming, and the sound of livestock in the distance went unnoticed. The scene was familiar, but Naomi was looking beyond all of that. She had dreaded the moment that was now upon her.
She wasn’t sure she could endure another goodbye. She wasn’t sure there were any tears left.
Her husband had gone to his ancestors a few years ago. Her two sons had only recently followed him. Their untimely deaths had deeply shaken Naomi. As she mourned them she only wished to join them in Sheol. There was nothing left for her. With the period of mourning now over, she had embarked on today’s journey shortly after dawn.
As she stood there in the road, Naomi knew that in a few minutes she would be alone.
Naomi finally turned around to look at the two young women standing silently just behind her. Orpah and Ruth, the wives of her sons, were all she had left. She had come to love these Moabite women as her own daughters. Their shared grief had only deepened the bond they shared.
Naomi had expected to be spending this season of her life caring for grandchildren, but these had never come. But Orpah and Ruth were young enough to have a chance at starting over. Naomi knew she had no such future. There was nothing left for her to offer them, and so she knew it was time for each of them to go home.
To Be Continued… (Re-Imagining Ruth Part 2)
This is the first installment of a series on the book of Ruth.
As an experiment, I’m going to interweave a re-imagining of the story with some teaching from the book itself. We’ll move between storytelling and Bible study. The storytelling will attempt to be faithful to the biblical narrative, but I will exercise some creative license to fill out the story.
Other articles may get mixed into the blog, but I’ll put a “Ruth” tag on all of these entries. I hope you’ll follow along and engage with us in the comments.