Infusing Hope

My daily devotional from Our Daily Bread directed me to the second chapter of Ruth. Whoa! It’s been years since I have read this book. Actually it had been so long, that I had to look up in the index of my Bible, just to find where it was. It is tucked neatly between Judges and 1 Samuel.

As I began to read, I noticed something that said: Pay Attention! As I read, I begin to see God’s providence unfold in the story I was reading. Wait! Let’s skip back to chapter 1 of Ruth. The Book of Ruth is the story of devotion, dedication, hope, and redemption. All of that packed into 4 chapters.

As I re-read the second chapter, I couldn’t help but notice how God provided for his people. They didn’t have welfare in those days. If you were poor you gleaned in the field after the harvesters. Ruth came to glean in the field of Boaz. Backbreaking hard work. Where just enough was gathered to keep body and soul together.

But was it fortune that smiled on Ruth that day, or divine providence?

Boaz replied, “I have been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband — how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” (Ruth 2:11-12)

You see what he said there? Man! That’s hope! He said the right thing, at the right time. Affirmation.

Do we infuse hope into the lives of others? Today a bedraggled individual walked into a restaurant. You could read the dejection, humility, and humbleness in his face. He sat for awhile, to enjoy some cold water, and to escape the blistering heat of the Arizona landscape. I was beside myself. I didn’t know what to do. I said: “God my brother is in need here. How do I infuse hope?” I am not an evangelist nor did I feel he needed to see my mouth flapping.

I remembered how one day, a person did something for me totally unexpected. A random act of kindness. She purchased a gift card, came over to my table, and said: This is for you. And just walked away. I don’t know who this person was, or why she did that, but it has always served as a powerful reminder of God’s providence for me.

Yes that was the right thing to do. I went to my car, got some money, and purchased a gift card for him. I went to his table, laid the card there and said: This is for you. As I walked away, he said: Thank you! I was more then re-paid.

How are you impacting your world? How are you infusing hope into the lives of other people? Do people only see our mouth working, or do they see Jesus in our actions and deeds? I pray that I instilled in this man today, the love of God through my actions. My brother is in need, how can I help? That should be a daily prayer. Emily Dickenson said:

“Hope is the thing with feathers,
that perches in our soul.

and sings the tune without words,
and never stops at all.”