Debbie and Ruth and Ruth

My Girls

This is a picture of my wife Debbie and our four daughters. I took the picture last summer in the Redwood forest in northern California. Next to Debbie is Becky, who is now seven, Livvy, who is now four, Ruth, who is 15 and Abby (11). I am blessed to have a wonderful wife and four beautiful daughters. Debbie and Ruth are on a retreat this weekend. They traveled to the Oregon coast to stay in the Prayer Lookout at Twin Rocks Friends Camp at Rockaway Beach. I am home with the other girls.

My bible study friends Dave, Torey and Troy came to our house this morning so that I could participate in the study without leaving the girls alone. We have been reading the Book of Ruth. Last time, we read the first chapter in which Ruth told Naomi, her mother -in-law,

16″Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”

Wonderful words and a wonderful story of commitment. Just as wonderful are the words of Boaz, found in the second chapter, which we read today. Boaz not only allowed Ruth to glean in his fields, but commanded his men not to harm her or embarrass her. He ordered his workers to put some of what they had gathered down in front of Ruth so that she could gather grain more easily.

It is somewhat hard for me to grasp the significance of these events and words since their culture is so much different than mine. I find it hard to understand how very counter-cultural it was for Ruth to abandon her home country, her kin and her gods to follow Naomi. It is also hard to get a handle on how different Boaz must have been then many wealthy landowners who would have believed it was quite appropriate for his servants to humiliate, harass and even rape a young foreign woman who was not attached to a man and who was scrambling in the grain fields to gather up enough so that she would not starve. I do realize that in both the person of Boaz and Ruth, we learn of individuals who were willing to go beyond their own traditional view of community and be bold and generous enough to reach out to those who were different than they were.

How willing am I to go beyond “acceptability” to extend a hand of love and generosity to others? Its easy to be friendly around those who are like me. Is it quite as easy around those who are quite different? I was reminded of this during our Friends worship this morning in Second Life. If you unfamiliar with Second Life, I encourage you to read a blog entry from my friend Ruby who shares briefly about the experience of meeting for worship in Second Life.

I won’t go into details at this point. I would just like to state that I am learning to appreciate and accept a much broader range of “otherness” in Second Life, as our meeting for worship has a diverse group of people. And, we are sitting and listening together and looking for ways of expressing care and concern as we move forward in establishing a community or friends in Second Life.

Regarding community, I want to recommend a fine piece by Timothy Travis, a Quaker blogger from Portland. His piece on community can be found here.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Faith, Family, Second Life

3 Comments on “Debbie and Ruth and Ruth”

  1. Ruby Says:

    Thank you for the heads-up on Travis’ piece on community, and thank you for sharing some of your thoughts about worship this morning.

    We have a “Livy” at home rather than a “Livvy”. Yours looks like quite an adorable young lady!

  2. Scot Says:

    Ruby,
    thanks for visiting here. I will see you on Monday at 8:30.

  3. Ruby Says:

    See you then!


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