A popular song at weddings contains the lyrics something like this: “Whither thou goest, I will go. Whither thou lodgest, I will lodge. Thy people will be my people, and thy God my God.” For years I thought those words beautifully described the commitment made on one’s wedding day to one’s spouse. But then I looked up the context and realized they were originally spoken by a young woman to her mother-in-law! They describe the unconditional friendship between women!
The story’s found in Ruth 1. Naomi describes herself as a bitter woman, having experienced the death of her husband and two sons. Now she’s headed back to her homeland in a miserable state. Chances are good that she was a prickly person at this point. Difficult to love, perhaps. Not a ton of fun to be with. I might think twice before choosing to devote my life to her, but Ruth had no second thoughts.
Bless her heart, Ruth committed herself to Naomi despite her prickly personality. She had nothing to gain by doing so. Nothing. Her motives were pure, her attitude commendable in every way. “Wherever you go, I’ll go,” Ruth told Naomi. I’m your forever friend.
Ruth modeled Jesus’ love for us. Even when we’re prickly, He loves us. Even when we’re not much fun to be around, He cares for us. His love goes on and on and on. Do we model Jesus’ love as Ruth did? Do we love others unconditionally? Do we love them even though they’re prickly? Do we love them no matter what?
Personally, I think I have some room to grow in this department.