Fear Drew a Line that Shut Me Out, Love Drew a Circle that Took Me In
We chose our name, Boaz & Ruth, to remind us of the transforming power of human relationships. The name reflects the ultimate relationship between those who have more than they need and those who have less than they need. It also reminds us of the mighty power of God present in relationships that bridge economic, cultural, and denominational lines.
But there is more to our vision, so much more...
Let's reach beyond the obvious -- beyond seeing wealth and poverty in simply economic terms. Each of us is either Boaz or Ruth, according to the moment of relationship, according to the wealth or need that we bring to a situation. What kind of wealth do we bring to life situations -- a friendly smile, a cup of water, a place to store furniture, an introduction to a friend, an invitation to one's church? In each of these situations one person is a giver who is Boaz and at the same time, is a receiver who is Ruth. Ruth passes the gift on to others and then back to the giver as a Boaz herself.
What breaks this circle of community? Stereotyping, fear, selfishness, and inattention. When we think of others as "those rich people over there in the big houses" or "those poor people who don't have anything," or "those white folks" or "those black folks" we see ourselves as different and divided. Another break in community comes when through fear we say "no" to sharing our gifts, "no" to the welcoming smile, "no" to the risk of reaching out to a person not in our circle of comfort. A break in community comes when we say, "that's my turf, my power, my vision, my non-profit organization."
The circle of relationship is also left unconnected when, for whatever reason, we simply do not notice another person. Community is broken by anything that prevents us from recognizing ourselves as both needing to receive and needing to share. Community is preserved when we choose to live in the shared space of movement between being Boaz and being Ruth. It is a space characterized by mutual cooperation and trust. Individuals who choose to live in this space are truly blessed.