Friday, July 18, 2008

A Religious Blog: Ruth


Since I have written several things lately for this blog, I decided that it is about time to write something religious. Since I don’t really feel like writing a structured essay right now, I’m just going to list a few of my favorite scriptures, and why.

My Favorite scripture story: Ruth

As far as I know, this has been my favorite story for a long, long time. The other day, I slept over at my sister’s house, where my niece T is always the first one up besides me, and since 1) I always do my scripture study in the morning, and 2) I have an extremely difficult time just ignoring any child who happens to want to talk to me, I ended up including T in my scripture study. I read the book of Ruth aloud to her, with commentary.

The thing is, I think that I first loved this story because it is the only (romantic) love story that is in the scriptures, just as a love story; as in, the love story part is the main event, rather than a side event in the long saga of someone’s life. And then one day, some teacher told me that the Book of Ruth is completely full of people who aren’t thinking of themselves: Ruth is taking care of Naomi, Naomi is seeking happiness for Ruth, and Boaz is looking after both of them. I must say, I don’t think that this interpretation is entirely untrue; but I think that even when we are looking after other people as much as we should, there is a way of taking our own desires in to account which is right and proper, and focusing on that interpretation doesn’t bring this fact to light so much. Specifically, my niece, T, interpreted all of Boaz’s actions as “so romantic” (I should mention that she is eight, and really likes romantic things; if memory serves, she clasped her hands together, laid them next to her tilted head, and sighed at least twice while making this, her own commentary on my favorite scripture story). As I read along, I found myself being pulled in to T’s point of view. I mean, OK, sure, you figure that you should be good to this, a woman who is clearly in the class of “worthy poor;” but there are accepted avenues of doing that which don’t include telling your servants that they should give her all the food she wants at lunch, besides on purpose dropping extra for her as she is “gleaning” (now more like “harvesting along side”). But the one that really got me was this: so, it is harvest time. You are busy. You may or may not be short on sleep, but in any case, at some point before 6:00 in the morning (probably) someone wakes you up, and says that you are in line to marry them, and somehow in your groggy state you IMMEDIATELY know that no, actually, someone is in line before you.

I mean, does it really seem to you like Boaz hadn’t ever thought of this question before?

So, that’s my new interpretation: Boaz really did like Ruth—you know, in the romantic sense-- but he was being really proper about the whole thing (if I had to guess, because there was that other guy before him, and because he was evidently somewhat older than her).

Incidentally, I was thinking about chick flick movies the other day, and I wondered: is there one where the girl is really proactive? I have known of several couples (OK, just a couple—er, of couples) in real life where the girl was the one who proposed, but I don’t ever remember a movie with this in it. But now I have found at least a written example, and it IS romantic (as just described), and it is scriptural to boot.

Here’s hoping I haven’t damped anyone’s spirituality with the above.

This blog seems quite long enough as it is, without going on to other topics. I've written more, but I'm going to save posting that for another day, when I've had more of a chance to edit it.

1 comment:

kjh said...

Marvelous Post!

/sigh I've got to get my kids reading your blog. They will simply love it :).