Midweek Musings: Rory and Ruth

July 14, 2022

By Jo Wiersema


Midweek Musings is a weekly Covenant blog with a variety of authors and a variety of topics.



Where you lead, I will follow Anywhere that you tell me to If you need, you need me to be with you I will follow where you lead


- excerpt from "Where You Lead" by Carole King


Gilmore Girls is a drama-comedy TV show from the early 2000s, that through its mass appeal to families, turned into a family favorite and cult classic.


As a teenager, I loved Rory. Rory is a smart, quirky, book-nerd who ends up in all sorts of conundrums with her peppy and sometimes absentminded single mother, Lorelai. As a teen daughter of a very outgoing single mother, my mom also loved the show. We saw our relationship played out in high school mishaps, coffee obsessions, and awkward boy-crushes.


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Maybe at this point your asking: So where is the theology, Jo? What does the beautiful town of Stars Hallow have to do with anything religious?


Great question, I would love to tell you.


Our memory verse this week is from Ruth 1:16.



In the book of Ruth, the short little book that holds so much story and compassion and redefines family, I see my love of Rory come to life a little bit. If you have a few minutes today, I highly recommend reading through Ruth. Ruth is what I read with a cup of coffee on rainy days. Ruth is who I turn to when I am facing trials that feel too much. Ruth is the ultimate humble leader.


For context: Ruth is the daughter-in-law of Naomi. Although both Naomi’s husband and two sons have died, Naomi doesn’t ask the daughters to stay and take care of her, she lets them go. She actively tries to push her daughters-in-law away so that they might find more prosperous opportunities in a new husband and family.



But Ruth follows Naomi. Through hell and high water, Ruth follows Naomi.


The Book of the Ruth gets painted in broad brush strokes as a love story between Ruth and Boaz and the importance of Mr. Right showing up at the right time. Don’t get me wrong, Boaz is an important part of the story (and the genetic line to King David), but he’s secondary to the love between a mother (in-law) and a daughter.


I want you to take a few minutes today and think about who you can follow.


The Parent/Child relationship can be really complicated, so maybe that isn’t a great metaphor for you. But is there someone you love? Not necessarily romantically, but who you care for and would follow.


They might not be perfect. They might drink too much coffee, they might embarrass you, they might not even understand you, but there is a mutual respect that you want to go with them to the next place.



This isn’t a perfect parallel. I was speaking with a friend about this post and as we listed our favorite Gilmore Girls characters, we stated opposite characters. Some folks can’t stand the show, but it’s nostalgic for me.


But when it comes to pop culture, we’re inundated with memes and shows and movies and more superheroes than I can count. If we take time when we study the Bible to connect them with the fictional shows we already know in detail, we can connect those dots in the future.


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Rory follows Lorelai through mishaps and broken hearts. Lorelai, as haphazard and quirky as she is, does everything to give Rory the best life she can. Ruth follows Naomi, as an immigrant to a foreign land to help Naomi and herself find a better life for themselves. Naomi puts her trust in Ruth, guiding her and trusting her to help rebuild their lives and honor God with their actions.


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Grace, Peace, and Coffee to all of you this day,

Jo


P.S. - If you’re looking for a deeper dive on Ruth, I really enjoyed the book The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules. I have a copy if you’d like to borrow it.

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