Stirred by a Mass reading recently, I felt inspired to go read the book of Ruth, and there I encountered a woman who I felt a connection to.
Ruth, a widow, cared for the women put in her midst, namely her mother in law. She didn't abandon those entrusted to her care. She was loyal, caring, and kind. She served those God put in front of her, even in her grief. She stood on the strength of the Lord.
God rewarded Ruth with a new marriage to Boaz, a man who fell in love with Ruth's servant heart, kindness, and devotion. God even eventually blessed her with a son.
Ruth's story is very relatable and hopeful to me, having had a marriage that died and being in the period of time when the Lord is putting women into my life to care for and serve, until He leads me to whomever He wishes to make my lifelong companion -- if that is His will.
What's interesting is those women just keep showing up in my life. He's planted young women who need a companion, spiritual help, support, prayers and/or guidance -- and He's using me to help -- just like Ruth. I'm a fellow companion walking with them on their journey.
And it even feels like the arduous journey and climb that Ruth embarked on. There are days I feel exhausted from it...Lord, I'm not sure I can help anyone else...I'm not sure I have the time or insight or strength to support this person. But He always manages to give me the strength, gifts, and graces to help them in whatever way I can.
Maybe God will never give me a Boaz...or a son...even though I hope He does. But even if He doesn't, I know His rewards are rich for serving Him and caring for His daughters. He's already shown me that, blessing me with other gifts and desires of my heart -- and blessing me with gifts from those relationships.
May the lesson be for you and I that even in our struggles and grief, even when our lives take an unplanned twist or turn, we can be a companion and serve the people in our midst. Take comfort that God will reward us richly for our service, devotion, and kindness -- just like He did for Ruth.