Scripture Aesthetics: Ruth

If you’ve never experienced the short book of Ruth, it’s definitely worth a read. These four chapters folded into the Old Testament showcase the goodness of God in an earthy, glorious way that almost overwhelms the senses. Romance, intrigue, grief, faithfulness, and fearless determination wind themselves together, bound up tight with the scarlet thread of redemption pointing ever toward the Savior who would be born into this same family in this same town over a thousand years later. I’d like to use a bit of artistic license in fleshing out an aesthetic for the three main characters as a creative experiment.

Ruth: the smell of dew-washed wheat first thing in the morning, blistered hands, a wrinkled map, linen aprons bleached by the sun, hot baths, the sense of adventure, lullabies in a foreign tongue, smoky eye shadow, the taste of ripened blackberries, being the new girl, golden lockets, a long drink of water, rose-and-fire sunsets, fresh air, gentle footsteps on the threshing floor, and happily ever after.

Naomi: an abandoned suitcase in the corner, black dresses, skeleton leaves, worn-out leather sandals, bitter herbs and hearty bread, the rocking chair on a front porch, tear-soaked journal pages, coffee with a friend after spending years apart, melancholy, star-drenched skies, the feeling of going home, dried flowers, holding your breath, ideas in the dead of night, rainy days, melting snow, and the slow but sure welling up of great joy.

Boaz: rich wine that slips down the throat after a hard day’s work, the sound of a warm chuckle, flickering lamplight, the weight of a blanket as you sleep, harvest songs and love letters, a well-worn Bible, musky beard oil, stealing glances across the room, a protective embrace, the smell of grain roasting, locusts singing in the distance, a grin lurking just below the surface, quick wit, and dirty feet.

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