“But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16
There are things we can control, such as whether to have coffee or tea, and there are things that out of our hands, like the ocean. Currently we are all in a state of waiting and living well outside of our normal routines. We are doing this in order to protect. Sheltering in place is our new way of life. What will we make of it?
The Bible is filled with people who had little to no control over their situations and were looking for refuge. In the Book of Ruth, a widow decides to head back home to Israel. She had lost her husband, sons, and the house. It was the worst of times. Her widowed daughter-in-law, Ruth, chooses to follow her. It has always fascinated me how willing Ruth was to leave the place where she had grown up and travel into the unknown. I find a clue as to why in Ruth’s words to her mother-in-law Naomi. There she makes what I see as a declaration of faith. She says “your God will be my God.” I don’t know that she fully understood what that meant or how much God’s presence and power had and would affect her life. She sought refuge, and the closest thing to that was something she saw in Naomi. God’s people find shelter in faith.
I heard some neighborhoods are placing a candle in their windows. Seamstresses are making medical masks. A mom created a paper prayer chain. The calls are made asking “How are you doing? Can I get your groceries for you?” And the song of faith must keep rising up to let the life-giving love of God flow out of the believer’s hearts. We aren’t all in the same place, but we are all sheltering in faith.
My daughter and I were talking and she suddenly said “I have to go; my phone is going to cut off soon.” I said “I love you. Call me when your phone is working again.” She said, “I will!”
I’m a long way from my daughter who lives in Brooklyn, so every phone call is a comfort, but it’s temporary. Our phones and conversations have limits, so as I think about that, I turn to God and I find my shelter there.
Holy and Blessed Lord,
In your keeping there is shelter from the storm, and in your mercy there is comfort for the sorrows of life. Hear our prayers and grant us your presence to keep the fire of faith kindled in our hearts. You are our refuge and strength. Lighten our darkness with your love.