Chapter & verse: Ruth 1:16-17
Malini Colville reflects on Ruth and Naomi’s story of hospitality
Journeys to new places bring excitement, an opportunity to research and plan, and a sense of adventure – something we have all missed during the pandemic. As someone born in Kenya, who moved to England when I was two and is now living in Northern Ireland, I recall each of those journeys being full of excitement, but also apprehension.
We recently spoke to my uncle, who relayed the story of my mother, originally from Gujarat, moving from Kenya to England in the 1960s. He shared that in those days, before WhatsApp, mobile phones and emails, it was literally trial and error as to when a person would arrive at Heathrow to be picked up. You would go down to Heathrow each week and wait to see if the person you were welcoming was on board the plane. For my uncle, that was a round trip of more than two hours from Leicester, one he did several times before my mother arrived with two young children and with many apprehensions and unknowns, but with the excitement and hope of new beginnings.
One of my favourite books in the Bible (if you can have a favourite) is Ruth. Naomi moved from Bethlehem to Moab at a time of famine. Her journey began as one full of hope, but over time turned hopeless. Naomi’s husband passed away, and ten years later her sons passed away too, leaving her with two Moabite daughters-in-law and no grandchildren. What started as a journey of plenty at a time of famine, over time became one of loss and loneliness. What started full of hope ended in despair. Naomi found herself grieving her husband and sons and having to return to Bethlehem, full of sorrow and with no prospects. As she begins her journey home, Naomi kisses her daughters-in-law as her final farewell, and they weep loudly with the anguish of hope diminished…
Malini Colville is Home for Good’s Northern Ireland Lead. Home for Good is a Christian charity working to find a home for every child who needs one, believing the Church is well placed to welcome and journey with vulnerable children and young people through fostering, adoption, and supported lodging
This is an extract from an article published in the June 2021 edition of Reform