We are puzzle people: we can guess and guess but it’s still in God’s hands
We can all be puzzle people, even if we literally don’t have a jigsaw puzzle on a table in front of us. We have pieces, sometimes a lot of pieces. Some of the pieces come together and we get an image, or a glimpse of the whole. From there, we do the armchair detective thing and make speculations that are so good that soon our hunches begin to present themselves as facts.
When it comes to Ruth and Boaz on the threshing room floor in the third chapter of the Book of Ruth, we have pieces. Yet some of us may think we have the whole picture. After all, we know exactly what is happening (or maybe is not happening) in this text.
Yet here is something interesting. Different scholars gravitate toward different meanings on this biblical account. Some call this sweet. Some make this sexualized.
We can guess at this story. We can also read into this story like a scholar, and, in so doing, pull in all sorts of truly interesting (okay, maybe theologically nerdy) information that brings insight not only to this sacred text but also other sacred texts in the process. We may add up our info and say Naomi and Ruth are pure of heart and intent, or we can see the possibility that there could be other ways to see this plan of Naomi’s.
Maybe you’re entrenched in thinking that this familiar story clearly can be seen only one way. I can’t argue with you to see another point of view as I have no solid facts to convince you of another perspective.
This said, I’m not so sure this story is about facts. Rather, I think this story is about people who love God and, out of that love, they desire the best out of their lives. Surely, that can be the case with the penniless widows Naomi and Ruth when the third chapter begins. They desire a life change for the better. Even Boaz, when we see his side, has a gain in marrying Ruth. She is a remarkable woman.
My point is this. Sometimes life is puzzling, even for people who love puzzles. But we can do what Ruth and Boaz did. We can take beautiful (or sometimes bold) steps and trust God will guide us because we have asked Him to guide us (or we can ask Him to guide us) before we move.
No scholar can look at your life on a page and say this is EXACTLY how it goes. Maybe that’s not so bad. In fact, maybe we can see our pieces that have yet to be put together as a good thing because we have a good God. When we are puzzled like Naomi, Ruth and Boaz must have been at some points in their story, the best we can do is turn to and trust Him.
And that’s not so bad.
PRAYER: May my next step be toward Your plan, Lord, not mine. Amen.