Devotional Week 39 Thursday
“Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom and became his nurse.”
Ruth 4: 16
“How to Live Your Life” by
Two Women Who Knew What They Were Talking About!
5 Characteristics of Naomi – The Nurturing Mother – Part IV
“How we learn is what we learn.”
How have I “nurtured” those in my life who are coming along behind me?”
What legacy will I leave by the lessons I have taught?”
“Teaching children to count is not as important as teaching them what counts.”
“The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won’t wait while you do the work.”
Of all the glorious displays in our natural world, nothing brightens my day like a gorgeous rainbow. Living, as I do, in a mountainous region that experiences summer monsoon rains with dramatic shows produced by lightning and thunder, rarely a week goes by I don’t look out the window after a heavy down-pour and call out to Jim, “There’s a rainbow!”
Several years ago, my neighbor phoned me in the afternoon and reported there was a double rainbow crossing the entire valley. I can’t begin to describe the radiant colors which illuminated the entire sky.
“And why,” you might ask, “does Dorothy love rainbows so much?”
Well, many years ago, my Grandma took me outside and told me that a rainbow was God’s promise to me that He keeps His word. As an adult, I learned from the Scriptures about, what I call, God’s “Rainbow Covenant” made to Noah. But as a “little one,” as my Grandma called me, I had no understanding of what the word “covenant” meant. But I did know what it meant to be truthful. I had the family training or “nurturing” to know that lying wasn’t a quality I wanted in my life. So when my Grandma told me a rainbow is God’s symbol or sign to me that He tells the truth, this was one of the many lessons she taught me which, even at a young age, I understood and have never forgotten.
How about you? Are there lessons in your life that have been like my “Rainbow” lessons, that have come to your mind in moments of confusion or pain? Lessons that have been like water on dry, parched ground. And was it the nurturing of someone who loved you and taught you that helped make the difference regarding the pathway you chose to take in your life? Their lessons nurtured your life!
I think the reason my grandmother was such a “nurturing” person is because she loved to garden. In my mind, gardens are all about nurturing – that patient ability to slowly implant nutrients into and around something and then cultivate it with care and diligence even when it doesn’t grow or mature as fast as you’d like it to – be “it” a person or plant! The actor Ralph Fiennes observed, “Gardeners are good at nurturing, and they have a great quality of patience, they’re tender. They have to be persistent!”
I ask you, if this is the loving treatment that encourages the growth of healthy plants in sumptuous gardens, then why shouldn’t the same tenderness, patience and persistence be the qualities we long for – qualities which are so evident in the life of Naomi – the nurturing mother.
From the time her sons married Moabite girls, to the moment Naomi held her grandson, Obed, to her bosom, this woman of God provided the necessary nutrients for her family which brought forth a garden of beauty. Teacher, educator, trainer, and nurturer! The traits of the nurse, Naomi.
Women who have lived on the Love of God
Through many seasons,
Are as sisters to blooming gardens
Around the world.
Warmed by grace and peace,
They grow in times of sorrow,
In God’s presence.
Reaching long roots
Into never-failing sustenance,
They lift bright blossoms
As witnesses to faith.”
Rev. Alison Carpenter Lucas
As I thought about my Grandmother’s nurturing spirit and the way she taught me, I remembered this beautiful piece written by Joy Cowley and I wish to share it with you for it may remind you of someone whose nurturing love affected your life, as well.
“She never learned to read, and didn’t know Scripture but as she sat in a wicker chair, mending her family’s clothes, she murmured, “Thank you, God. Praise you, Jesus,” and somewhere far away, her prayers stitched up a tear in the fabric of the planet. With a pot of soup boiling on the wood stove, she stood at the table, kneading bread grateful for the richness of another meal. “Thank you,” she said. “Thank you, thank you, God,” and in a lonely place, a hungry heart was filled with nourishment it could not name. She said her only regret was her lack of schooling. It would have been nice, she said, to read stories to her grandchildren. But what a blessing it was that they could read their books to her. “Thank you, God,” she said. “Thank you! Amen!” When the doctor told her the news, she folded her hands in her lap, smiled and replied, “Life is so lovely, praise God.” He, not sure that she understood, said she had only a few weeks to live, and she, knowing he didn’t understand, clasped his hand and said he was very kind. Her children and grandchildren sat by her bed, talking in low voices and someone remarked how soft her hands had become. The end was so quiet, they were not sure of the moment of her leaving, but they knew that the angels who took her to heaven, had to carry her just one very small step.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus