hopeHi folks – in case you missed the re-telling of Ruth I through the spoken word, here’s the text of what we shared last week on Sunday.  After each week, I’ll post the chapters here.  Again, read the book of Ruth in the bible by visiting a site like www.bible.oremus.org for the NRSV version or https://www.biblegateway.com/ where there’s lots of different versions of the bible you can read.  Lots of folks like the NIV, “The Message” or the Good News versions for easy reading in contemporary language.

Either way – enjoy for your own reflection. Oh and a note for those of you who love Grammar – this is spoken word so I’m not writing for the page but the ear.  Spoken word’s history is an oral one, much like that of Jesus actually.  In putting the speech to page, there is much that’s “lost in translation” given that the art invites the creation of a very particular moment in space and time among the speaker and the hearer’s, but the text will give you the gist of what happened.

 

One hundred and twenty…months

Three thousand six hundred and 52….days

Ten years.

Ten years of back biting bitterness

As the famine feasted on the elderly and the young in Bethlehem

 

In those days when the judges ruled

Because the star of the kings had long since faded

Elimelech and his wife Naomi

And their two sons left, booked it, got out of –

that little town of Bethlehem – you know – it’s the same one you’ve heard of.

how still we see thee lie.

Bethlehem – house of bread? – the famine robbed the panty then

There were no crumbs left for the house of the dead.

 

So to the county of Moab they went,

a place where they could scratch out hope and a living

But the famine followed them its belly bloated – death has a most unflattering girth

For soon, it was Elimelech that Naomi was burying deep in dark earth.

 

And her sons – they married Moabite women

Orpah and Ruth – surely hope was coming and whatever Naomi had done to deserve this,

God had forgiven?

 

 

But the famine – its jaws would not let loose

And into its maw Mahlon and Chilion – Both of Naomi’s sons – were swallowed up

The bitterness had broken her, Naomi had only death to choose.

But then came the news. 10 years too late.

The Lord had taken pity and the land was filled again with plenty

For the crop of refugee corpses who had left Bethlehem’s wake.

So she would go back – back to Judah – back to the little town of Bethlehem

 

But what of these daughters that she had adopted –

They were not her people – like dead weight –

they’d only slow her death down .

She told Orpah and Ruth –

Go back to your home! Go back to your people!

May God deal with kindness to you,

instead of dealing more death to me and my kin

You’re still young and nimble –

find yourself husbands and a future as you are able.

 

They wept and kissed –

salt stained faces made hard with tears and pain –

For even water comes from the rock in the dessert of our suffering.

They would not let Naomi go.

 

So she said : GO YOUR WAY!

What would do with me?

I am spread like too little butter over too much bread, thin, used up,

from my womb can’t come sons for you to marry,

in me…there’s only room for death.

 

And what if I could –

give you husbands to secure your future in this world of men?

Would you wait a lifetime for my dead children to grow old

so you could marry them?

You don’t need to be stained with the slap the Lord has given my face,

Go your way – save yourself from whatever it is that I’ve done to deserve this disgrace.

 

Together, They wept. dust and tears.

Orpah left Naomi behind, but Ruth wasn’t finished here.

Naomi urged her to leave – but Ruth – she was

Like a mountain – sh