“The day after” the holiday, makes me think of many things. I am still pondering the memories of connecting with family and friends. I groan getting on the scale but the blood sugar isn’t too high. I’m resisting the mad rush to join shoppers. I’m cleaning house and recovering. Unfortunately, for some, the day after brings up memories of “the pill” to terminate an unwanted outcome of the day before. The living out of the events of the day before is the reality for all of us.
The elders bless Boaz and Ruth with unity first, may they work together. Secondly, they bless with vision, new dreams for the new phase of life they are entering. But the third blessing, I would call perseverance, the ability to overcome everything that would hold them back. Through the offspring of this woman, they say, “may your family be like that of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah.” Oh my, another woman from the genealogy of Jesus and another awkward real life story about Biblical heroes. Judah, the fourth son of Jacob by Leah, marries a Canaanite woman and has three sons. The first marries Tamar, a Canaanite, but dies without children. Tamar is given to the second son who dies. She is promised to the younger brother but realizes this plan will never happen. She dresses like a prostitute and entices Jacob, her father-in-law. Twins are the result. At birthing, the first twin sticks out his arm and a red chord is tied around the wrist but then he draws back in. Perez, the second twin is born first and named Perez, the overcomer.
We may have the best care-plan possible under the circumstances and the brightest dreams for the future but life has a way of undermining our progress. As we ponder yesterday’s meal, we remember how we mixed the corn bread wrong, the wrong words that slipped out of our mouth, the embarrassing experience that was retold to our chagrin. Those are normal but other things come up that undermine our heart and our efforts. The elders bless Boaz and Ruth with not only unity and vision as they live into their future, but also with perseverance.
Perhaps there are places where we are tempted to give up today. It could be as simple as the diet we blew yesterday but it could be a relationship that we feel will never heal. Don Quixote sang, “To dream the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe, to bear with unbearable sorrow, to run where the brave dare not go…” stirs our hearts as it echoes the blessings we long to have the strength for – to run the race to the end hang in there with our care-plans. As we think of the people we long to bless, the “care plans” we long to see work, may we ponder : who needs unity, who needs new vision, and who needs a prayer for perseverance. Perhaps take time to draw three columns on a paper and see if you can name three people in each column and then pray for them. God’s listening.