By Julie Bruun
The book of Ruth has always been inspirational and challenging for me. It consistently pushes me to expect God to be just as present in the little moments of life as He is in those of great magnitude.
Amidst living a story full of insecurities, with endless worries about my future and where to go, Ruth inspires me to keep still, to remain, and to just be.
She finds rest in the Lord and refuses to leave Him, even when she has a chance to leave her mother-in-law after her husband's death and start a new life. Instead Ruth faithfully stays in her widowhood and childlessness to be with her mother-in-law, promising her faithfulness:
"Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you: for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God," Ruth 1:16
Ruth stays committed and wants to make the God of Israel her God. Ruth is setting herself free from the securities of the world and instead of worrying, she chooses to love on others with a steadfast love. In Hebrew the translated word would be: "chesed," meaning "faithfulness born out of a sense of caring and commitment."
Faithfulness and staying committed here in the Tenderloin can be tough.
Choosing to love others who greatly differ from ourselves is hard, but I have come to know that I, as a broken woman of God, can love people even in my brokenness.
If I faithfully pursue His people around me and listen to God's agenda- of when to speak and when to listen, He will turn every bit of brokenness into something beautiful and make His love shine. Working in the Ellis Room here at YWAMSF has taught me incredible things. The first days working here I almost felt too bare.
Working with the women of the streets who had come across so much pain their lives felt so heavy and I felt so small. But God completely took the steering and guided me into what to say. Suddenly, in the middle of painting a woman named Stacy's nails, I heard myself asking to pray for her. I was surprised when the question came out of my mouth but she thankfully agreed and throughout my prayer she couldn't stop smiling and she held my hands really tight. I could feel God's love enter the space around us and His peace came over both of us.
I truly believe that in choosing to love God and His people, in choosing to stay faithfully committed, the Tenderloin and our hearts towards its' people will change.
The book of Ruth reflects that God's purposes are always for the good and joy of His people. He is always working - even in the quiet and if we patiently wait for Him, He will reward our faithfulness and we will see the fruits of that.