She stood in the kitchen, slumped shoulders, after a long day of school.
“I’m upset,” she said.
In the last class of the day the teacher left the room, and she watched two bullies picking on a weaker student, jabbing him in the ribs while they laughed with cruelty. The guy cried, hurt by the bullies but then embarrassed at his own response.
“I didn’t even do anything about it,” she said. I saw the pain and tears in her eyes –a tender heart that felt the wound someone else had received. I told her it was not too late to do something.
The next day she performed a valiant act and informed the teacher.
I opened an old book and read about two women. They are widows who are helpless and alone in a male-dominant society -reliant on the kindness or cruelty of men who might offer them food from their fields to live on. The women come to a small town at the beginning of barley harvest. The younger woman begins to gather leftover grain, in the field of a kind and generous man who also happens to be a relative.
On the advice of her mother-in-law, Ruth sneaks in one night and proposes marriage to Boaz, which is both unconventional and hopeful.
Boaz promises he will do what she has asked. He fills her shawl with six full scoops of barley and sends her back to her mother-in-law. Then come the most powerful words in the whole book of Ruth.
I thought of the student who went home from school in humiliation. Meanwhile…
When he sagged onto his couch at home, he had no idea there was a young woman thinking about him in her kitchen. He had no idea God had filled her heart with compassion. He couldn’t see her tears on his behalf or know that she was about to take action that would affect his life.
God has orchestrated the homecoming of the widows, bringing them to a place of kindness and redemption and provision. Many years from now Ruth’s small little name will be listed in the lineage of the Great Redeemer. (See Ruth 3:18 to 4:1.)
Naomi says to Ruth, “Wait my daughter, until you find out what happens.” Wait for Boaz to act. Trust in the good and generous character he has shown so far.
The Bible is full of meanwhile. The Israelites face the Philistines and Goliath…meanwhile David. The Ethiopian reads the Scripture in his chariot, not understanding…meanwhile Philip. Saul encounters Christ and sits blind for three days…meanwhile Ananias. God takes action for his people but out of the line of vision.
When we belong to God, he is always at work on our behalf, in ways that we cannot see. We can pray about the unknown and then take Naomi’s advice to “wait and see what happens.” We have no idea what God is doing as we speak.