Monday, February 22, 2010
Boaz and Ruth
I recently watched a man, all alone at a kitchen table, surrounded by no less than six women. It looked, for lack of a better description, like he was holding court. This man probably has his pick from this group of women at this point. I stood there and wondered whether I was doing the wrong thing by not being a part of this group of women....am I losing out by not "throwing my hat in the ring?" How does one woman stand out in a group like that? Does it really have to be about beauty and looks first?
The book of Ruth has long been a favorite of mine. I have loved her humility, her servant's heart, her love for Naomi, her compassion, her commitment, and her absolute trust in the Lord. The book basically is a love story about Ruth and Boaz. Ruth is serving her guts out and being the kindest friend to Naomi she can when Boaz comes along and has heard all about what Ruth has done. Ruth just happens to be working in Boaz's field when he offers her protection and kindness of his own in the form of extra food. Naomi, in turn, hears all that Boaz is doing to help Ruth out and she instructs Ruth to basically throw herself at Boaz's feet to fulfill Levitical law and marry her.
I think what I have loved about this story is that Ruth is doing what she's doing for Naomi and not thinking about a husband at all. Boaz takes note of her superior character and what she's done. Nothing is mentioned about Ruth's looks....just that she has been kind to Naomi and that she is working hard. It seems Boaz's protection of her while she is working and his leaving her extra food is his way of making the first move. Naomi seems pretty confident that if Ruth presents herself to Boaz, he'll do the honorable thing. She even says at one point that "he will not rest until the matter is taken care of."
I know that men, initially, are attracted to outer beauty. They are wired this way. Men, for the most part, are visual creatures. And I know to honor the Lord as a temple where He dwells, it is important to care of myself. Yet there is a longing in my heart to be known. I have always groaned at the thought that somehow I have to compete with every other single woman, like some sort of vulture ready to pounce on the fresh meat, or win some sort of unspoken beauty contest first before anyone bothers to look below the surface. The role I play in being "out there" and "available" to be won has always been confusing to me. How do I translate Ruth into modern-day application?
I had a dream a number of years ago about my wedding day. The dream took place at the altar during my wedding ceremony with my groom (a tall, dark-haired man with glasses and a goatee, decked out in his tux and a top hat (the meaning of which I'll explain perhaps someday)) and I listening to the pastor give his message in front of a large group of friends and family. It is a typical wedding scene, save for one thing. My future husband, instead of listening to the pastor, cannot stop talking to me and whispering to me. At one point I lean over and say to him, "Shouldn't we be listening to the pastor?" To which he replies, "I can't stop talking to you. I can't wait to hear what you are going to say next."
This exemplifies everything I would ever want a man to say to me: "I can't get enough of you. I am enthralled with you. Everything you say is interesting to me. I have seen everything you have done and who you are."
I have always longed for a man to be like a Boaz; to see my heart and my actions at the same time as my beauty. Maybe this is fear or passivity with regard to my part in the whole dating scene. Maybe I have unrealistic expectations. Maybe I am the one who's wrong and I *do* need to be the seventh woman surrounding the new guy, so-to-speak.
I'm praying for the Lord to bring me a Boaz, to set up a divine appointment in which I am found gleaning in the field and serving those around me and praying that he will come quickly.