Long term care plans

Ruth 3:1, “One day Naomi her (Ruth’s) mother-in-law said to her, ‘My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you will be provided for?’”  Naomi, the widowed wife in Chapter 1 who is overcome with grief at the death of her husband and two sons, who returns to Bethlehem bitter, and who in Chapter 2 passively gives Ruth permission to go out and glean in the harvest fields so they have food to eat, now takes an active role in caring for Ruth.  We cannot control contextual dramas like famine or perhaps election outcome or virus statistics.  We can take care of very basic needs like hunger through gleaning or food shelves or welfare but we as people have other emotional and even spiritual needs.  Naomi begins to wonder how she can help Ruth develop a “long term care plan.”  Food is for the moment but security is long term.  As we start Chapter 3 of Ruth, we start looking into the future.

         As Americans we hear about all the insurance policies we are encouraged to invest in for that day we hope will never come in the hospital or care facility.  We might even join groups that provide identity and community.  For youth that often means gangs but it can also mean church groups or other clubs where we can meet people and “network.”  Before we get into this chapter, let’s take a few minutes to think about our emotional, social, personal, or perhaps spiritual needs.  It seems to me that as we list needs, we can acknowledge how that need is met for example “I appreciate the love of my family.” Or that need might need a little tweeking, “I would like to start a conversation at the Y with that lady I always see.”  Lastly that need may need a repair plan, “I really need to call my sister and apologize for the rift and my part in it.”

         As I ponder a scriptural perspective on care plans, the sermon text for next Sunday, Matthew 25:31-45, comes to mind.  We will look at the return of Christ and the division of the sheep and goats.  People are arranged by care groups.  Those who reached out and became engaged with neighbors in need are put on one hand and those who did not care for others will be put on the other.  Interestingly neither realizes when they did or did not care.  Ponder, what are the basic security needs you have that need care and how can you help care for the needs of those in your life.  Blessings.  This is hard stuff.

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