Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel!”
There is this persistent claim in our Christian story that blessing comes when you embrace someone you aren’t supposed to, when you give of yourself in ways that go against your best interests, that take a chance. When you put yourself and your wants second, or last. But there’s also a clear-eyed sense that widows and others on the margins of polite society get taken advantage of, regularly, get assigned last place by default. You get the sense that there are systems that are so ravenous that they have no limits when it comes to what and who they will devour.
Mark and Ruth both introduce us to widows who are in threat of being annihilated at the hands of those who have more than they need. And yet, they both are revealed as rich beyond our imagination in terms of faith, resourcefulness and strength. What might we learn about the foundations on which wholeness, well-being, and possibility are built?
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