Her husband and children died, and now she is alone in a foreign land.
So begins the book of Ruth.
Impossible because, really, what could redeem that kind of tragedy?
This Steven Curtis Chapman song wafts through my mind:
“Out of these ashes
Beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will see it with our own eyes.”
Glimmers of hope in the wake of tragedy.
But what’s staggering about this song is that he wrote it in response to his own daughter’s accidental death. He fiercely holds on to the belief that God redeems all pain and suffering. He doesn’t claim to know what the beauty will look like. But he simply clings to the gut level knowledge that God is the redeemer. The beauty that will rise from such horrible tragedy will result in a fountain of joy. Irrepressible dancing in its wake.
Who could imagine the beauty that would arise from Naomi’s sorrow- grieving her husband and children?
Who would ever predict that it would precipitate a journey back to her homeland, tenacious Ruth in tow?
And Ruth, this Moabite girl, would be grafted into the family of God and become a colorful piece in the lineage of Jesus Christ.
It takes my breath away.
Ruth didn’t know that she was the great grandma of King David or the many times great grandma of the Lord Jesus. But maybe she hung on to the hope like Steven Curtis Chapman does.
In the darkness there is brilliant light.
The gray, dreary dawn is ready to burst into brilliant pink-orange.
Even if we don’t see it until we join Jesus in eternity.
Our sorrow is tinged with purpose and hope. And our faith simply pleases Him.
“Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.”