This is part 2 of 4 of the story of 2 women, pressing forward despite adversity and used by God despite being lowly outsiders.
For context on this series, including what we wrote this for and why I’m posting it to my blog, read the intro here.
The Power of Friendship
Ruth & Naomi (based on Ruth chapter 2)
I had nothing. Lord knows Naomi had nothing. But somehow, together we had something. It didn’t make any sense; we were like two empty vessels that somehow filled each other up.
I don’t blame Orpah for staying in Moab. Naomi blessed us both to return to our mother’s house. We had a chance of starting over. We’d find new husbands, live in new homes, and maybe have children. Orpah was smart to go home, but I just could not. As terrifying as it was to leave my homeland with no plan or prospects, the thought of losing Naomi was worse.
Naomi tried to reason with me by telling me she was too old to provide me with a husband, but reason isn’t the basis of our friendship. There is no logic to the depths of my affection for Naomi. Our pain, our joys and our lives were braided together with a love that was so strong, I knew that without her, I would be lost and incomplete. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates me from Naomi!
Naomi told me that her God had made her life bitter, and yet, I could see that she had a small glimmer of hope that He would provide for us. It was that hope that drew me to Naomi, and it was that hope that drew me to her God. That tiny glimmer of hope was our guide all the way to Bethlehem.
Our dirty feet bled and our stomachs groaned. Naomi was old, and I feared the journey would take more out of her than she had. We walked and walked. We shared stories — and silences. We sang and prayed. We cried and reminisced. We laughed and hoped. We walked and walked and walked.
Jill wrote this next piece on Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth.
Mary & Elizabeth
by Jill Hicks
I knew visiting Elizabeth would be the right thing to do!
On the way here, to her and Zechariah’s house, I was thinking, maybe all of this was a dream after all. But I’ve been counting the days since I saw the angel, and I’ve noticed things. I feel so tired all the time. And I threw up again this morning. And the pain that usually comes every month … didn’t.
I have all the signs. I really am going to have a baby!
And Elizabeth knew it too! I hadn’t even told her I was pregnant, but she just knew.
I found out that an angel visited Zechariah, six months ago. But at first he didn’t believe Elizabeth would get pregnant, so the angel took away his voice until their baby is born. I feel bad for him, but he seems pretty upbeat most of the time.
Oh, Adonai, thank you that Elizabeth understands me! It’s so funny. She’s so old, and I’m so young. Technically, neither of us should have even been able to get pregnant. But Yahweh gave us both a baby anyway. We were two empty vessels that have been filled up.
I’ve got to say, it’s so nice having somebody to talk to about all this. Zechariah rolls his eyes at all of our chattering sometimes. But he doesn’t say anything. Because he can’t!
I feel so happy for Elizabeth. Everyone thought she would die without any children. But now she’s going to have a son! She told me that she used to feel like Sarah in the old stories: too old to have children. Or like Naomi, whose first sons died. But all that’s changed now. Sarah, Naomi, Elizabeth. God was kind to all of them eventually!
Elizabeth said that as soon as she saw me at the door, the baby inside her jumped around and kicked for joy. When she said that, I felt that crazy alive feeling again, just like when the angel came to see me. And suddenly, I just knew. I felt like it really was meant to be! I knew that God actually did choose me, for whatever reason. And that he is here with me.
I’m still scared, but now I feel like things will be all right.
I just hope I can remember that when I see Joseph again.
To Be Continued…
Tomorrow: Ruth and Mary are Hungry and Homeless.