Today’s Reading: Ruth 1:1-18
It seems so appropriate that today (All Saints Sunday) we hear a portion of the story of Ruth – for I can’t think of anyone who embodies the quality of a saint better than Ruth.
So what qualities or characteristics make a saint?
Well, there are lots of ways to answer that question. One of the more obscure would be to say a saint is a person who helps you see the world differently. Let’s use the opening verses from the book of Ruth as an example.
In the world in which Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi lived, women were seen in one-dimensional terms. Their value lay in their ability to produce - and hopefully care for - a family. Apart from that, their value was minimal. That’s why when Naomi lost her two sons – she released her surviving daughters-in-law to move on. “Why would you come with me,” Naomi asked the women. She asked that question because she couldn’t see why any person in their right mind would stay with her!
Thankfully, Naomi had Ruth beside her: someone who could see the value and sacred worth within Naomi (despite the fact that she was well beyond her reproductive years). Because Ruth was able to see Naomi’s sacred value, eventually Naomi came to see her value as well. That’s one thing saints tend to do –help individuals see others (and perhaps even themselves) differently.
On this All Saints Sunday, I would invite you to look back over the course of your life and see if there are any Ruth-like figures in your life. As you remember those saints in your life, pause to give thanks for them and the ways they opened your eyes in new ways. Til next time…