A Story within a story
May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. … Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.
- from Ruth 4:11-12
The story of Ruth takes place inside a bigger story. All of our life-stories take place inside a bigger story. Sometimes we need to be reminded of this reality.
The bigger story includes mothers and grandmothers who’ve gone before us, women who’ve wrestled with infertility and jealousy, people who are remembered by God. Rachel and Leah struggled to find their place in their extended families but their descendants became priests and kings in their tribes.
The bigger story includes women who’ve had to take initiative to see that justice won the day. That’s Tamar’s story. She found herself in a situation like Ruth but without a Boaz. She used her intelligence and strategic thinking to force her father-in-law to do what the law required. And her son, Perez, would have been Boaz’ great-great-great-great grandfather.
The bigger story includes people who’ve suffered and remained faithful. The story includes people who’ve found power from God to make a change in their lives, to forgive, to seek healing, to confront someone who’s doing something destructive, and to pray. Radical generosity. Warm hospitality. And kindness, the kind of kindness that only comes when someone has been tenderized by God.
You have a meaningful part to play in the bigger story. And the Lord can use the bigger story to give you courage to play the part he has for you. And, most importantly, an attentiveness tot eh bigger story can heighten your awareness of the Lord’s presence and activity. He’s the one who gave Rachel and Leah and Tamar a legacy.
Take a few moments today to reflect on the legacy you’ve received … the legacy given to you through the biblical cloud of witness and the legacy you’ve received from your family. In what ways is this legacy challenging for you? In what ways is this legacy encouraging?