Powered by 4 - November 17, 2016

Open Book

Today's reading: Ruth 1:19-22

Naomi and Ruth's arrival in Bethlehem doesn't go unnoticed. In fact, verse 19 says the "whole town was stirred" when they arrived. I imagine there was any element of surprise to see Naomi, but I also get a sense that the women of Bethlehem who were familiar with Naomi were a little shocked at her physical appearance. We all know how things like grief, stress and worry can affect the way we look, as well as impacting our emotional state. So it's no wonder the women say "Is this you, Naomi?" because she probably looked worn and haggard.

At first glance, Naomi's response struck me as being grumpy and brusque, but the more I thought about it, I realized that Naomi was simply being straightforward with a group of women with whom she was familiar. (By the way, her response also indicates that she has been straightforward with God). Instead of trying to save face by downplaying or sugar coating reality, she speaks openly from her broken and distressed heart. Naomi's candid response provides the women with an accurate picture of what's going on in her life, and in turn, lets her friends and acquaintances know that she is in need of their support.

Is it your practice to have open and honest dialogue with God? If not, what is holding you back? Do you feel like you need to put on a "happy face" with your Christian friends and fellow church goers? Why or why not? Tami

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