“Love extravagantly” (1 Corinthians 13:13 Message)
The story of Ruth and Naomi fits in the New Year structure we are building here. The Hebrew widow Naomi instructs her widowed Moabite daughter-in-law in a complex Hebrew betrothal event described in Ruth 3. When Ruth returns home from the evening, Naomi asks, “How did it go, my daughter?” Some translate that phrase, “How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as a widow or a wife?”
The roles of Naomi and Boaz cannot be minimized. The story reads like a seduction scene. It is not. Naomi loved Ruth enough to help change her self-perception.
How do you see yourself?
I have been writing the novel, “Caught in the Tail Lights” for ten or twelve years. It is the story of a kid whose parents divorce. While editing the manuscript for about the 50th time, I realized not every divorced kid, not every kid with a dysfunctional family, not every kid in a different, but not dysfunctional family, experiences the wounds that are emotionally related in the book.
Every person I know who thrives after experiencing abandonment, assault or rejection has a Naomi or Boaz in their lives. There is a huge distinction between, “So, how did it go?” and “How do you see yourself?” The first asks for information, the second desires to know about your heart.
As I was reading my book, I realized I have to very loudly declare that healing is not only imperative, it is available. We have seen the brutalized and assaulted experience a miraculous healing. We have seen God reach into people’s hearts, memories, thinking processes and take horrible situations and produce whole, sensitive and thriving people. But in every case, there is a Naomi, there is a Boaz—“A kinsman redeemer.”
As I viewed 2015 from my chosen advantage, the necessity of having reciprocal, redeeming relationships with several people is essential if we are to experience the New Year as God intends. Absolutely essential!
I’ve been reading The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. (Harper One ©2009) The subtitle is “Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level.” The Introduction—“Remove Your Last Obstacle to Ultimate Success in Wealth, Work, and Love.”
Hendricks contends that each of us has an upper limit syndrome. We move forward as far as our self-concept will allow and no further. We sense the restrictive ceiling and sabotage ourselves to keep us under the Upper Limit. That author says, “I found that my biggest resistance was the fear of owning my own potential.”
Again, we face the “I’m not worthy—I don’t deserve” self-perception.
“How did it go, my daughter? How do you see yourself?”
Without losing authenticity, think of love as a spiritual resource. It is one of the three major resources you have to make 2015 what you want. Let’s put love in do-able actions.
- Connect. With whom are you connected? Your personal network members?
- Bless. Who speaks blessing on you and your destiny out loud? Who blesses you to your face and in their prayers? Blessers release God’s resources and their blessings set positive spiritual energy into motion. The stream demands inflow and outflow. Who will you celebrate rather than just tolerate? How will you prepare yourself to authentically ask, “How do you see yourself? Is life related to dead-ends or new beginnings?” Who will you target for blessing?
- Help. I think the best words spoken to people we love is, “How can I help?” Rather than offering unsolicited advice, ask the person what they think would help them.
Make yourself available to your dream.
The story of the guy at the post office came to mind almost instantly as I looked at the building with the widow’s watch. It came with a reminder we have a limited amount of time, so it seems imperative to get at it and stay at it.
“…these three things remain: faith, hope, love. The greatest of these is love.”
How Can I Help?
©2015 D. Dean Benton Writer, Wonderer, Coffee pot washer.