Thought For The Day 09/15/14


Whither Thou Goest

Thought 1283



Ruth protecting Naomi

painting by Sandy Freckleton Gagon


Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.  Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. 

Jane Howard


Have you ever wanted to be a part of something that was greater than yourself? Well for many of us that comes with becoming a part of a family. And while statistics indicate that in today’s world, all too many families find themselves unable to remain united, there are still the exceptions to the rule that make you just want to smile because you know you are bearing witness to something truly special and rare.


Remaining married in today’s society is not as easy as it was in years gone by. In the mid 20th century, the roles of men and women within society were more clearly defined. Men’s work was one thing and women’s work quite another. And while both interacted well enough together to form a cohesive family dynamic, the expectations for individual behaviors remained fixed. Even personalities were defined almost from birth as evidenced by the toys that most parents bought for their children. Boys played with trucks and grew to be strong but silent partners. Women played with dolls and found their roles as nurturer and “rearer” of offspring fixed! However, times have changed and today, the distinction between the male and female roles in society have become much more blurred.


We are just as apt to find women in the corporate boardroom as we are men employed as nurses and teachers! Both men and women also perform equally to the tasks within the family unit. My husband empties the dishwasher every single morning while I make coffee. He clears the table while I load the dishes into the dishwasher. It is much more a partnership that we witness in successful marriages of the 21st century. However, there have been equally strong examples of the blurring of roles throughout history and I am sure that in many ways, this is due to the strength of character that has been instilled within the very being of people who are willing to surrender some of their individuality to guarantee the success of the dynamic of the group. For some reason, the first names that come to my mind when I think about people who are willing to sacrifice one for the other are the names Ruth and Naomi.


Naomi lived with her husband Elimelech and her 2 sons, Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem who moved to Moab as finding food became more and more difficult at home. And as happened frequently in times past, Naomi’s husband passed away leaving her to raise her boys. Both grew and as the years passed, they fell in love and both married Moabite women. And once again, death knocked on the family’s door, claiming both of Naomi’s sons. The only ones remaining were Naomi and her daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth. Naomi, not wanting to be selfish, released both women from their bonds of committment to her, forged when they married her sons, and encouraged each to return to the homes of their father’s. And while Orpah bade Naomi farewell, Ruth refused to leave. We all know the words by which the dynamic of these women is defined…”Whither thou goest…” Ruth 1:16-17 NIVBut 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. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”


Now together, Ruth and Naomi return to Bethlehem, united by the heart of family joined not by blood but by love, both willing to do what they must to preserve forever the bonds of the family dynamic. As it was harvest time in Bethlehem, and determined to do what she could to provide food in a land that was unknown to her, Ruth followed those servants who were gathering Barley in the fields, picking up the scraps that were left over. Her actions were noted by Boaz, the owner of the field, who was a relative of Naomi’s late husband. Boaz also had a personal relationship with God. Boaz told Ruth to glean Barley only in his fields and he invited her to quench her thirst as she needed to with his water. He also guaranteed her safety while she was there. When Ruth asked him why, he told her that he knew of her love of and sacrifice for Naomi, and told her that it was the will of the Lord that her kindness and sacrifice be rewarded! And of course, Boaz soon fell deeply in love with this remarkable woman with the kind and selfless heart, and they married.


True love is indeed a rare thing, whose value exceeds any other treasure we might have. Expressed as an action and yet experienced as a feeling by the heart, true love, in reality continues to be something that defies a single label. It is a magical tapestry woven of so many individual threads, each one a different vibrant color and each equally special in the eyes of the Almighty. Perhaps we begin our tapestry by weaving a red thread for compassion. How about adding a gold one for empathy and perhaps a blue one for tolerance. A green one seems perfect for sacrifice and I can see a yellow one for determination. A violet thread might just become support and finally, a silver one shimmers beautifully as we weave endurance. Each thread a different hue. Each thread plain when seen lying individually on the table next to the loom. And yet when joined together by the Master weaver himself, the result is a tapestry of blinding beauty and immeasurable value.


Yes, love and family is hard work and sadly, it is becoming increasingly rare in today’s disposable society, but we can make it grow again in the world. It is as we share all the love that we hold within our own hearts with others that we inspire others to want to do the same thing. And like a snow ball rolling down hill gathers not just speed but size, so can love if we make it our personal responsibility to be willing to sacrifice just the tiniest bit of “me” and create something special by adding it to the tiniest bit of “you”. Lets make a world in which we think of “us”, exactly as Ruth did all those years ago! How big do you think you can make your snowball?


Perry Como sings “Whither Thou Goest”

“Whither Thou Goest” was written by Guy Singer in 1954, 60 years ago (as I well know since I was born that year). That same year Les Paul & Mary Ford released a very successful version of it. In years since, Leonard Cohen ended his concerts by singing the song, with all of his band members joining in on the vocals. This Perry Como rendition of the tune is from 1959, so it was still a relatively recent song at the time.


If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; …

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 ESV


Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath

About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

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