MY THREE RUTHS
Reflections on Mother’s Day 2019
I’m a blessed man.
My mom was Ruth Naomi.
My wife is Ruth Lynn.
My daughter is Rebekah Ruth.
I’m surrounded by Ruths. And I’m profoundly grateful. I would not be the man I am without my three Ruths.
My mom was my very first hero. She always had love in her heart, planted deeply by God in her German Lutheran home in Baltimore, Maryland by two amazing parents. She modeled well her biblical namesake story of forever faithfulness to those who surrounded her daily. She lived a simple, generous, humble, and incredibly beautiful life. She practiced hospitality like no other person I’ve ever observed. She died without offending a single person. She believed in the golden rule, she prayed the Lord’s prayer from the heart, and even on her death bed was able to recite by memory the 23rd Psalm. One amazing woman of God.
My wife is another of my heroes. She endured and persevered when all the odds were stacked against her. Her sense of honor, commitment and humor have combined to create a heart for the hurting, the lonely, and the disenfranchised. She discerns right from wrong with laser like precision and all who don’t like the truth don’t bond with my Ruth. She’s got you in her eyesight, and if you’re willing, her presence in your midst will change your life…forever. She’s raised two amazing children and helped them overcome challenges others would shy away from. Not my Ruth. She’s as dogged and determined to fight for what’s best, even if it is costly to do so. I married up big time.
My daughter is blessed to have lived under the tutelage of her mother and grandmother, two Ruths that have shaped this gifted woman. I’m as proud as a dad could ever be of our dear Bekah Ruth. She too has caught the vision for living life circumspectly, humbly, and always with an eye out to protect and preserve the dignity of others. Even though she has a demanding profession, her stories are always about the gifts and abilities, the needs, hurts, and even the foibles of those who cross her path. Thankfully she can handle whatever comes her way with a strong will, a discerning heart, and an incredibly loving soul. She learned well from her mother and grandmother, the best teachers of all.
On this Mother’s Day, my daughter Bekah, my son, Nate, his beloved wife Ashley, and our precious granddaughter Brenna Lynn (photographed here with Ruth), are filled to overflowing with a thankful heart for the women we know and love as “Ruth” – a biblically significant name, graced by the woman who sacrificed her own self-interests in order to care for her mother in-law Naomi in a time of desperate need. “Where you go, I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” God provided in abundance in return for her faithfulness. God knew in advance all that he was doing to establish a line from Ruth to Obed her son, the father of Jesse, the father of David…of the lineage of Jesus. Thank God for Ruth, the biblical one-and-only who has given us a role model for today.
For many, Mother’s Day is a tough day. And for good reasons. So many don’t have good relationships with their birth mom. Or they miss their mom due to death, distance, or health. Some wish they could be a mom themselves, but marriage and family have been elusive realities for them. From a male perspective, all I can say is “I’m sorry. I truly wish it were different for you.” So I pray that as you reflect today on the biblical Ruth you can find comfort and courage to face the reality of your life with God-honoring dignity and non-circumstantial joy. Receive God’s love today, dear sister. Read and pray through the Book of Ruth – it will be good for your soul.