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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)

TITLE: Turnabout
By Lucile McKenzie
09/04/07


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She sat alone on the flat rooftop. Night was falling over the village, and her black robes stirred in a faint breeze. She sighed, and, just for a minute, allowed her mind to wander back to happier days when she, her husband, Elimelech, and sons, Mahlon and Chilion left Jerusalem and came here to Moab because of famine in Jerusalem. They were happy here in Moab for a while. They made friends, Elimelech found work. But then Elimelech died, and suddenly she wore the black garments of a widow instead of the bright colors she loved. But happiness came again when both boys eventually married fine young Moabite women.

She smiled, thinking of her daughters-in-law. So different, the two of them, Orpah was so impulsive, mischievous, always laughing, while Ruth was quiet, soft spoken, a loving and obedient wife and daughter. She loved them both so much. But now Naomi came abruptly back to the harsh world of reality. Both of her sons were dead and she must deal with the problem of how to survive. What shall I do? She thought. How shall I manage?

Than, as usual, she turned to her Lord. “God, tell me what to do.” Almost before she had finished whispering the words, she knew what must be done. She must go back to Jerusalem. Elimelech and she both had families there. Her two daughters-in-law would stay here with their own kindred. Even as tears formed again at how much she would miss them, Naomi thought, I know this is God’s will, even while I dread the long, lonely journey back to Jerusalem.

A few days later she was ready. She called the two young women. “I am going back to Jerusalem,” she said, “but you two must stay here with your own families.”

Both young women burst into tears, exclaiming that they wanted to go with her.
“No,” she said, firmly holding back the tears. “You must stay here. You will be so much better off here with your own kindred.”

Finally, after many sobs and entreaties, Orpah left for her kinsman’s home, weeping bitterly. Naomi looked at Ruth. “Go, my daughter.” She said.

But Ruth refused. Throwing herself at Naomi’s feet she cried, “Do not urge me to leave you or to turn back from following you; for whither you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge: Your people shall be my people, and your God my god. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. The Lord do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” (Ruth: 1: 16-17 NAS)

Naomi stared at her in astonishment. All this from Ruth, who was always so quiet, so meek and unassuming? Ruth, who was so obedient, never complained, or argued, a woman of few words? Naomi stared in disbelief at Ruth, who had risen to her feet. As the two women faced each other Naomi saw that, although Ruth’s eyes were pleading behind unshed tears, her jaw was set and her mouth narrow with a fierce determination. Naomi smiled then, and in her heart said, “Thank you, God, for giving me this woman as my daughter.” Jerusalem beckoned, full of promise. Arms linked, Naomi and Ruth began their journey.


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This article has been read 446 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sharlyn Guthrie09/07/07
Nice re-telling of one of my favorite Bible stories. I like your characterization of Ruth.
Author Unknown09/07/07
I love the p.o.v. of this story-- nicely done. I liked the description, too.
Good job!!
c clemons09/09/07
I enjoyed this retelling, good job.
Dee Yoder 09/11/07
Very good writing! The dialogue is so natural, you brought me right into the story. I like the more modern interpretation that gives a wonderful POV, but you incorporated the scripture well, also.
Joanne Sher 09/14/07
Congratulations, Lucile. Your entry has placed 14th in Level 2. The Lists for the Top 15 in each Level and the Top 40 overall is available in the Weekly Results and Highest Rankings forum of our Faithwriters Message Boards