Well, I am moderately less delayed than before so I am going to consider that a success.

The story of Ruth and Naomi is one that I am not as familiar with, but have heard quoted, mostly in feminist circles. Reading it, though, I found I was moved far more than expected.

Left to their own devices, Ruth and Naomi had nothing. In that time and place, without male relations, they were nothing.

The risks they took were huge. Ruth could have easily been raped. With no relatives (Naomi would not, being a woman, count in any meaningful way) there would have been little recourse for her. If there was any at all.

It’s especially sobering to read in light of what is going on in the world today.

I don’t want to turn this blog into politics, but when politicians drag religion into public discourse I can’t help but make connections.

Sometimes I wonder if this is what some conservative leaders would like. To return to an age where, like Ruth and Naomi, women without men are nothing. Where we beg for scraps, glean from the fields, throw ourselves on the ground before men of power and beg for mercy and help.

I admire Ruth and Naomi. I admire their loyalty, their deep love for each other, their unwavering dedication their faith.

But I don’t want to be them.

I don’t envy a faith born of desperation. I don’t envy a world where you cling to all you have and that, to the wider world, is still nothing. I don’t envy a world where women must scheme and beg and pray for the mercy of men in their lives.

Ruth and Naomi were intelligent, faithful, dedicated women. Imagine how much more they could have done, if they had not been left to glean from what men left behind…

 

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