Gutsy Ruth goes to France

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in a seminary classroom completely absorbed listening to Dr. Bruce K. Waltke lecture on the Old Testament. (Those who have ever heard him lecture will know exactly what I mean.)

Nothing—absolutely nothing—could have prepared me for what he would say when he got to the Old Testament book of Ruth and started talking about what scholars like Dr. Robert Hubbard were learning as they continued to drill deeper.

Sometimes I do think they should install seat belts in seminary classrooms.

I’d heard and loved the story of Ruth all my life and thought I knew her story as well as my own. Having said that, the “Happily ever after!” ending and Ruth’s relegation to the “women’s section” of the Bible always bothered me. Still, my familiarity with Ruth’s story meant my guard was down.

As I would write later, what I heard that day “effectively removed the shrink-wrap that for generations has encased Ruth. She emerges, not as the passive, deferential, demure woman we once thought we knew, but as a surprisingly gutsy risk taker.”

Domaine Lyon Saint Joseph

I was blown away. No more Cinderella! No, this is a real story for real women in the real world! 

It was a watershed moment for me. I had to stop and rethink my whole life. (Don’t imagine that was painless either.) But there was no way around it. The more I dug into the text, the richer and deeper the story got, the more responsibility I felt before God, and the more rethinking and changing I had to do.

Some women say finding Deborah, Huldah, Esther, Mary Magdalene, Priscilla, or Junia in the Bible is what changed everything for them—helped them realize how seriously God takes his daughters and gave them the courage to step up and answer his call on their lives.

Ruth did that for me.

The hard part for me was knowing women in the pews weren’t hearing this message. I knew I had to get it out.

Now The Book of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules is not only spreading that message to women, it is pulling Ruth out of the “women’s section” of the Bible and the bookstore. You’d be surprised how many men I’m hearing from who have read it.

And this weekend, I’m going back to Lyon, France and taking Ruth with me. I can hardly wait to share this stunning news with my incredible ezer-friends at the 2013 Lifesprings Ministries International women’s retreat at Domaine Lyon Saint Joseph.

I hope they’ll be wearing seat belts!

with Lifesprings 2012 Retreat Leadership Team

About carolyncustisjames
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