[forthright] We Need Each Other

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Fri, 01 Sep 2006 15:01:07 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Up for the Task

We Need Each Other
by Paul Goddard

"Everything that happens in the world is part of a
great plan of God running through all time."  -
Henry Ward Beecher

I first read the book, God Is No Fool, twenty-
eight years ago.  It challenged me then, and today
I'm still meditating on chapter forty-three:
"People important to you, people unimportant to
you cross your life, touch it with love and
carelessness and move on.  There are people who
leave you and you breathe a sigh of relief and
wonder why you ever came into contact with them.
There are people who leave you and you breathe a
sigh of remorse and wonder why they had to go away
and leave a gaping hole.  Children leave parents;
friends leave friends.  Acquaintances move on.
People change homes.  People grow apart.  Enemies
hate and move on.  You think on the many who have
moved into your hazy memory.  You look on those
present and wonder. I believe in God's master plan
in our lives.  He moves people in and out of each
other's lives, and each leaves his mark on the
other.  You find you are made up of the bits and
pieces of all who ever touched your life, and you
are more because of it, and you would be less if
they had not touched you. Pray God that you accept
the bits and pieces in humility and wonder, and
never question, and never regret."/1

During the time of the Judges, there was a
terrible famine in the land. Elimelech, an
Israelite from Bethlehem, moved his two sons and
wife, Naomi, to escape destruction./2   Soon after
arriving in Moab, he died, leaving his family
alone in a foreign country.  While caring for
their mother, Mahlon and Kilion married Orpah and
Ruth.  After ten years of marriage, another
dreadful thing happened. The sons died, leaving
all three women alone (Ruth 1:1-5).  

Deciding to return home, Naomi urged the girls to
return to their own people.  Orpah did so, but
Ruth insisted on staying with Naomi.  Leaving
everything behind, Ruth followed Naomi (Ruth 1:6-
22).

Upon arriving in Bethlehem during the barley
harvest, Ruth gleaned grain in a field that
belonged to a man named Boaz (Ruth 2:1-7). She did
not know that Boaz was part of Naomi's family, nor
did she know that Naomi was trying to find her a
new husband (Ruth 2:8-23). Naomi's match-making
efforts were successful, for Boaz loved Ruth.
They were married, had a son, and they named him
Obed. Obed was the grandfather of King David
(Matthew 1:1-5).  

Through Boaz, God took care of Elimelech's family.
God has always been concerned for the welfare of
his people.  Are we aware of our responsibility to
protect the poor and oppressed? Genuine concern
for others may require sacrifice.  Christian, are
you up for the task?
 
"I will sing of my Redeemer,
and His heavenly love to me:
He from death to life hath brought me,
Son of God, with Him to be."  -P.P. Bliss
 
__________
1/  Lois A. Cheney, God Is No Fool (Nashville, TN:
Abingdon Press, 1969), 81.
2/  Naomi means pleasant.  
 
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