Ruth is one of the shortest books in the Old Testament—only 4 chapters long. It provides the bridge between the first seven books of the Bible, where the Israelites are freed of their bondage, their existence in darkness (Egypt), and the more glorious reigns of David and Solomon.
For biblical scholars, Ruth simply lays out the lineage of David as having been ten generations as an Israelite, for Jewish law prohibited anyone who was not proven to be at least ten generations from being King.
The story of Naomi is one of tragedy. She and her husband left their homeland of Bethlehem (which stands for “house of bread,” symbolizing the abiding place of substance) and went into Moab (the carnal, external, material). Her two sons took on wives, Ruth and Orpah. Soon, thereafter, her husband died, followed by the death of both sons. This left her a widow with two widowed daughters-in-law.
Naomi became very bitter.
“Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” — Ruth 1:20-21 NIV
Mara stands for the bitterness and distress that the partially awakened soul experiences when reaping the error result of some false step. When we are not aware of our cause-and-effect of Truth, we begin to blame god.
Apparently, Naomi blamed God for her misfortunes. Many Christians do that today. When we rely on worldly resources for our abundance, health, and joy, we are often disappointed, aren’t we? And when things don’t go our way, we often, sometimes silently, blame God.
And yet we know that God is fully good and fully present to our needs. But, when we rely on external sources for our goodness, we’re actually playing craps. We’re just rolling the dice and hoping everything ends up hunky-dory, aren’t we?
Now Naomi wanted to return to her homeland and she pleaded with Ruth and Orpah to return to their families. But Ruth hung on with Naomi. Orpah stands for youthfulness, the zeal of the feminine, but more for the things of self rather than of Spirit. Therefore, Orpah remained in Moab, the land of the material, external things in life.
But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. — Ruth 1:16 NIV
Ruth, on the other hand, clung to Naomi when she returned to Bethlehem. Ruth stands for the love of the soul in its natural state, for the love of the natural soul for God and for things of spirit. She represents human love raised to Divine Love by its willingness to leave the love of the unreal, the material world, and to follow after the real. To be steadfast in that love.
Ruth is the Spiritual Light that shines in all individual consciousness to show us and lead us to heaven. Just as Moses had led the Hebrews to the Promised Land, Ruth is also leading us from the sense world to the Spirit world.
Within each of us, regardless of where we may be along our Spiritual Journeys, there is always this spiritual idea, Ruth, that will cling to God regardless of how far down the ladder we get mentally, physically, morally, or financially. There is this small light that continues to shine. It is within us. It has led us to this very place. It is to you as it was to Elijah, that small, still voice. Whatever you call it—God, Divine Power, The Christ Consciousness—whatever you call it, it will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.
How do we awaken to the realization of the presence of God within?
We have come to this world in the belief that we are human. We’ve grown up with this belief. We have been taught to turn to human sources and human persons for sustenance and aid. We have our whole life been trained to look into Moab, into the external world, for help, guidance, success. We have NOT been told to rely on the spiritual power and presence of God.
Now, as we learn more through metaphysics and meditation, we are beginning to turn within more, aren’t we? We are beginning to get a small glimpse of what our own connection with God really means. From this point onward, we must make this Power a living reality, a conscious and constant presence in our lives. It is truly “praying without ceasing.”
The first step is to continually realize our Oneness with God. This is the realization of your true identity. Then, we must understand the nature of error as an illusion, a mirage, a suggestion, a nothingness. Third, we must listen for the still small voice of God through prayer.
The first two on the list are intellectual exercises. The third one requires an action on your part. You need to spend at least a few minutes each day simply being still. Have no purpose on hand, no declaration of need. Simply sit still and listen in that silence for God. For Truth.
When someone comes to you needing help, try not to state affirmations and denials. I know that’s part of Unity teachings, but it substitutes the idea that we can somehow heal someone. When the truth is that only God can heal. There is an illusion that needs to be dispelled, for sure. But we can’t do it simply by human thoughts and actions. It must come from God.
When you’re asked for help, simply sit back, close your eyes, and let the Word be made manifest in you. The work has already been done. The healing will take place because it is not dependent on human thought or action.
When we can fully rely on God, on Truth itself, then the error is dispelled. The Word of God is prayer. Prayer is not us re-affirming some ailment or trouble by telling God to fix it. God doesn’t “fix” anything. If we can let go of the illusion of trouble, then we allow the fullness and perfection of God to shine through.
When error or sin is handled or treated as a mirage, an illusion—nothing claiming or appearing to be something—then, guess what? It disappears.
To fight error is fatal. When you can realize that error—whether it’s in the form of sickness, poverty, anxiety, or whatever—is just a mental suggestion, then the error will destroy itself. Whenever you’re faced with any kind of illusion, just remember that an illusion cannot have any power to be anything other than what it is: a mirage of nothingness.
I had a Aunt Patsy who would come to her daughter’s house to have her hair done. Susie, her daughter, was a hairstylist. Patsy was known for having a weak stomach, too. One day, Patsy saw a small dark object laying in the floor and thinking it was something that fell out of Susie’s baby’s diaper, began to wretch, her stomach flipping uncontrollably. Susie went over and inspected the dark object, picked it up (which further exasperated Patsy’s condition), brought it to Patsy and said, “It’s only a raisin, Mother.” Suddenly, Patsy recovered. The illusion of what she thought she saw was strong enough to make her physically ill.
To our material sense, sin and disease appear as real entities having substance, law, cause and effect. To our material sense, sin and disease seem personal and tenacious, don’t they? But, to spiritual consciousness, they are both unrealities in that they exist apart from God.
To heal ourselves of sin and disease—and let’s remember what sin really is—we must recognize these as falsehoods, untruths, illusions.
How do we do that? Through meditative prayer. Through prayer of thanksgiving and prayer of listening. God speaks to us through prayer.
Are we quiet enough to hear It speak?