(Clint begins reading the story “Boaz’ Field” that he and Matt wrote.)
One evening, in a field just outside Bethlehem, three shepherds were talking with one another.
The first said, “I was wondering. Do you think this might have been the field that was owned by Boaz many centuries ago?”
The second shepherd replied, “There’s no way of knowing for sure. But if so, do you know what happened here, perhaps at this very spot?”
“Yes,” said the third, “it’s where Boaz first saw Ruth. He asked one of the workers ‘Who is that woman?” He heard the reply, ‘She’s the Moabite woman who returned from Moab with Naomi.”
“Moab!” exclaimed the first shepherd. “Ruth must have been a woman of great courage to leave her homeland, and settle in Israel. The Israelites did not look kindly upon Moabites. They were considered the wrong people, the wrong nation, the wrong religion. Moabites were thought to lack moral standards. Their women were considered ‘loose’–and ‘loose’ is one of the more polite terms that people used for them. I’m sure that when Ruth arrived here, she received glares of disapproval.”
“And not only glares,” went on the second shepherd. “But whispers behind her back. Like: ‘What’s she doing here? Why doesn’t she stay with her own kind? Doesn’t she know her place? We don’t want foreigners here–Israel is for Israelites, period.’ It must have been difficult for Ruth, when those whispers were loud enough for her to hear.”
(The story “Boaz’ Field” continues tomorrow.)
Gracious God, protect us from badmouthing others because they are different. Amen.