Would that our speech was still
so full of color, but then
we might also be stuck with
such a worldview and
barbaric treatment for
classes and peoples deemed lower;
not that the flora of the language
has direct impact on behavior or,
for that matter, that we’re completely
(if at all) immune from such
provincial thought and behavior now.
It is a promise of the highest order,
spoken in the midst of a strange redeeming,
where land and mouths to feed
seem to be of greater import than
emotions and relationships.
Ruth, the outsider of outsiders,
Moabite that she is,
throws ethnicity to the wind
and pledges her troth to a mother-in-law
who is as good as dead.
It is really the pledge of all
who abandon self for the sake of God;
home and kin, vocation and comfort,
all tossed into the whirlwind
of God’s tempestuous travel plans.
Who knows how many times
it has been used to caulk wedding vows,
betrothed cleaving themselves one to another?
I do not claim to understand
the mystery of enduring matrimony,
but it does seem to me that when
both partners are willing to live
(not just speak) “Whither thou goest…”
first to God and then to each other,
the grace not only of longevity
but also of joy is within their reach.
Ruth 1:16 (KJV)
1And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.
© 2011 Todd Jenkins