14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.” When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. Ruth 2:14 (NIV)
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
My father always said, “The Lord makes a lid to fit every pot.” He said it anytime the subject of marriage came up. He believed that when the Lord brought a man and woman together in a godly marriage, it was amazing and wonderful to see how they lived and worked together. Maybe they didn’t get along perfectly, but they were “a matched set” and “a working pair.”
One time when I was a little boy, my father and I stopped to talk to a man on the street. Even to my untrained, childish eyes it was evident that the man my father was speaking with was a goofy man. Moreover, the goofy man had a goofy wife.
(I know you’re not supposed to make judgments like that when you’re a pastor, but, be honest. You know it’s true. Some people in this world are just goofy.)
When my dad and I got back in the truck, he added a corollary to his statement on God’s work in holy matrimony. He said, “John, the Lord makes a lid to fit every pot. He even makes a crooked lid to fit every crooked pot!”
The Bible contains many stories of famous marriages ordained by God. One of the sweetest love stories in the world is the story of Ruth and Boaz. You would do well to read this little story in the Old Testament; the whole Book of Ruth only takes up four chapters. I may be reading too much between the lines, but I think that Boaz was a very kind and gentle man. I also think he had never had a girlfriend before.
When I get to Heaven, I want to see Ruth. I want to see if Ruth was the most beautiful woman in the whole world, or if she was the most beautiful woman in the world in the eyes of Boaz. But it really doesn’t matter. Because according to the way I read the Scriptures, when Boaz looked at Ruth for the first time, his heart jumped and he said “Wow!” At first sight, he was smitten.
Now here’s the most wonderful thing about Boaz. He has never had a girlfriend before, so he doesn’t know what to do. He doesn’t know you’re supposed to be reserved and cool. He doesn’t know how to be a smooth operator. But he knows that if you love somebody, you’re supposed to do SOMETHING. So, even though he’s a grown man, he acts like a 6-year-old boy at a birthday party. At lunch time, as the servants are setting out the picnic with brown bread and parched grain, he makes his move. He says, “Ruth, I want you to come sit beside me. You can have all the parched grain you want. And you can dip your bread in my dish!”
Now, how does Ruth react to this? Of course, she falls head over heels for him. That’s because nobody can resist genuine love. It doesn’t even bother her that Boaz has the lamest “pickup line” in the universe. Boaz has stumbled upon a very important truth: “When you don’t know what to say, don’t worry. You can say pretty much the first thing that comes into your head — as long as your words are loving and sincere.”
Our Saviour has commanded us to live a life of love — and doesn’t this world around us need it? So, this week, live a life of love. And don’t sweat the specifics so much. You don’t have time to stand there. Just do something.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 26 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days he works at a public school.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 20) and Seth (age 17) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the pastor thinks his wife — pictured at right with their two boys, when they were babies — is the perfect lid for his “cracked pot”.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.