Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Widows Story: Imaginary Interview With Naomi

Ferree: Hi Naomi, Thank you for visiting WCP today, we're so glad you could join us!
Naomi: I'm happy to be here. I feel like I know each one reading this. I can relate very well to just about any loss on the planet!
Ferree: Oh, I know, but I'm not sure many people realize all the losses you experienced. If you don't mind, please briefly explain where you're coming from?
Naomi: My dear, where I'm from is the essence of peace and love---a glowing, exciting place where there are no more holes in my soul, no bitterness, no decay. A place where God knows me through and through. He rejoices in me for I'm finally the complete and unique person He intended me to be all along--I'm the 'real' me and I'm perfectly loved and accepted! Plus, I'm always making new discoveries and learning so much about God and His never-ending creation! Not to mention the presence of God which is entirely undescribable glory and awe . . .
Ferree: Naomi, you're talking about Heaven! You're making me want to be there! But what I was really asking, what I meant by "explain where you're coming from" was to please tell us about your life here on earth and how you were widowed and all the other losses you experienced.
Naomi: Oh, yes, yes, my darling. Ahh, life on earth. It's been about 3000 years now, and since I was here less than 100 years, it seems like a vapor, just a dream. But at the time it was very real, very painful. I remember it all perfectly . . . Let's see, where to start . . . the losses I experienced . . . hmm . . . Of course they all seem like gain, now, as dear Apostle Paul said and still talks about every day (my, can that man talk!). But back to your question. I think I'll just give you a list.
Ferree: Well, OK, a list would be good. We can then read more in the book of Ruth.
Naomi: Ruth is such a dear! But here's my list, now that I've gathered my thoughts. And it really is a solemn and sobering thing to think about--all that I lost--even though I don't look at it that way now. I remember how awful I thought my life was at the time.
First, there was a famine. We had very little food and money. We were about to lose our business and our home--you call it bankruptcy now.
Then, we moved to Moab--and what a shock that was! I'd never been away from home before, so I was terribly homesick! I missed all my friends and family, my sweet little house and neighborhood, our Sabbath, all the sweet familiarity of home . . . That was really hard!
I tried to be enthusiastic for Eli and the boys. Really, it was for the best, we thought; a good business move, we thought. We could sell Eli's pottery and my fine linen along a trade route in Moab called "The Kings Highway." We could wait out the famine, make a nice bundle of money, and be pretty well set when we went back to Bethlehem. That was the plan.
Ferree: So if we put some thought to Ruth 1:1,2, what you're saying is that the move to Moab was pretty traumatic! You went bankrupt. You moved to Moab where you didn't have any friends or relatives. Today it would be like moving to a foreign country; plus you couldn't pick up a phone and call anyone! You couldn't even Facebook, email or send a letter!
Naomi: That's right! It was very stressful! Plus, there was no government, no police protection, no military--it was "the days when the judges ruled"--if there was a judge. Everyone did what was right in their own eyes. Which, I suppose is why Eli and I moved to Moab--it seemed right in our eyes. It was a mistake, but God allowed it and worked it for an ultimate good.
Ferree: Naomi, you say that with such a good attitude. Were you always as upbeat and honest as you sound today?
Naomi: I think just about the whole world knows my most embarrassing moment: my public meltdown when I arrived back in Bethlehem. I thought I'd explode from the exhaustion and stress of those ten years--and I did! Right in front of everyone!
Right there on the street in Bethlehem, surrounded by a crowd of welcoming friends I screamed, "Don't call me Naomi! Call me Bitterness!" and then I ranted that God afflicted me! I kept repeating that, louder and louder each time! "The Lord did this! The Lord did this! The Lord did this!"
So to answer your question, No; I was far from upbeat and positive that day. I was honest, though: at that point in my life I was beaten down, bitter, and full of despair.
Ferree: So you've been there. Sorrow. Loneliness. Feeling abandoned. You know what its like . . . What would you tell widows today? Any advice?
Naomi: Well, this might not seem like much because folks today want life laid out in three easy steps. Easy steps are seldom realistic. Instead, I'd gather all widows close to me and hug them in a way that would absorb all their pain. Mind you, this hug that might take days, or weeks, or months . . . . After that, I'd dab away the tears, and then I would simply say, "Read my story."
Widows don't ultimately need any "how to's" or three-step plans. They're on a journey, so God gave them my story--the story of a woman who'd lost everything--money, job, home, friends, husband, sons . . . My story has all the direction they'll need.
I'd tell widows today to "Read my story." And I mean all of it. It doesn't drop off at the end of Ruth, you know. My story streams to the book of The Revelation, bobbing up in the very last verses of Scripture where Jesus Himself says "I am the Root and Offspring of David." You know that David is my great-great-grandson, right? See? In spite of everything I went through . . . my hurt, confusion, anger, bitterness . . . the Root of David was with me.
I didn't realize it at the time-- (although I think I had faith just enough to hold on)-- but God was setting the stage for eternity --for my offspring and my Savior-- and my part in it.
He's doing the same for widows today. Like dear old Paul said through Isaiah and the Holy Spirit, No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. God has a plan for each widow that streams to their children by blood, to their children by Spirit (like Ruth was to me), to their friends, to their world of influence and on into eternity. That's why they're alive. They'll get through the pain and when they do, an amazing harvest will bloom. Yes. That's what I'd say to widows today. Read my story, it's part of Christ's story.
Ferree: Thank you Naomi. Would you pass me that Kleenex?

6 comments:

  1. Loved this. How's it going? I'm still thinking about a writer's week-end at the farm ;-) Maybe in the fall during peak color season.

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  2. . . . this was very interesting, makes me think. I never really thought about Naomi being a widow too. I guess I relate more to Ruth, because of my age, and I cherish the picture of Christ's redemption of us! I loved that picture even before I became a widow, but it holds deeper meaning and promises now. Kelly L.

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  3. WOW! Was this ever what I needed to read today.It is a hard road,but I do know that God is in control.Tears come so easily today.Thanks for this post.
    Blessings,Ruth

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  4. nicely done...I need to reread the book of Ruth!

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  5. Well done! I've been doing a Bible study on the book of Ruth with another gal ... we do it over Skype. Christmas sort of interrupted things but we are to get back to it this coming week.

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  6. Thanks, your kind comments encourage me to finish the book I'm writing about Ruth and Naomi. I just keep piecing away at it but I'd love to get it off my desk this year--would love to try Skype sometime too--what a great idea to use it for Bible study and fellowship! May God continue his good work in each of you, and may His word strengthen and guide you more and more each day.

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