I read something in my Bible study the other day that gripped me. It felt like the words I’ve been looking for to describe what we do at Naomi’s House. In The Gospel of Ruth by Carolyn Custis James, she describes what she thinks Boaz was representing when he first interacted with Ruth. The scene is this: Ruth and her mother in-law Naomi (our namesake) are homeless widows. According to the Old Testament Law, the people of Israel were to leave a portion of their fields for the widows, foreigners, and the poor so they could harvest (or glean) something to eat. Boaz followed this law and left the corners of his field for those who would come and glean. This is how Boaz met Ruth…she was gleaning food for herself and Naomi. But it’s James’ interpretation of Boaz and his implementation of the law that impacted me. She writes,
The letter of the law says, “Let them glean.” The spirit of the law says, “Feed them.”
Or in other words, Boaz knew that leaving harvest out for the poor and needy was a requirement but the purpose of the law was to care for people. To feed them. To see them. To instill dignity.
As you know, this is what we do at NH. It is one thing to give a woman a safe and warm place to live. But it is quite another to walk alongside her and lift her up so she can have what she needs to start a new life. Walking alongside someone who has nothing takes an incredible amount of strategic thinking and hard work. For example, most women who enter into the NH program have little to no clothing, shoes, or warm boots. Many have no ID, no insurance, and no access to ongoing education. And they have few-or no-safe people in their lives. Think of Ruth and Naomi: homeless and poor, marginalized from the community, and dependent on the law to provide for them. This is not a long-term sustainable way of life. They remain vulnerable until they have access to resources. This month, we welcomed two residents into the house where with your help, they won’t just be depending on the law to “let them glean.” When at NH, we are literally and spiritually feeding them.
This month, we are prayerfully asking our partners to make a monthly commitment to Naomi’s House. By financially supporting NH each month, you not only provide sustainability to our programs, you send a message to the women at NH: you see them, you believe in their dignity, and your desire is to feed them. For $50 a month, you’re giving to our operating costs. Those expenses include things like:
- Snow removal (yes, even in November!)
- Weekly trauma-informed therapy
- New clothes: shoes, coats, and everything underneath
- Groceries, cleaning products, and hygiene items
- 24-hour-care from our professional Jesus-loving staff
To partner with us as a monthly Hero Partner, click here. Thank you, thank you.