Then she said, “Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day.” | Ruth 3:18
I went back to visit the schoolyard where I had spent several years of childhood. The schoolyard with tether-ball and a baseball diamond, hopscotch and red brick walls.
The brick walls seemed higher then — constraining, but safe.
Today, they didn’t seem high at all.
I walked to the bench at the edge of the schoolyard, the invisible boundary line where all the children knew not the cross. The wooden bench, where we discussed our secrets and sorrows. Ahh, sorrows… What did we know of sorrow then?
The things that we thought we would break us.
The fears and dreams of our futures.
Our friends and foes, though at times, we hardly knew which was which.
And in time, many of them proved to be neither; they simply became a part of our memory, so foggy that you wonder if they were ever really there at all.
At what point did this become true?
What are the expectations?
At what point does one deserve this title?
At what point is this taken away?
It was easy as children…
When our minds and actions spoke true.
We learn to shield ourselves from the cold; we brace ourselves for the coldness of words and actions, real or imagined.
Truth and trust are lost, one after another.
And trust, once lost, destroys the roots of friendship.
It uproots it altogether, or slowly wither the roots until one day ,when you lean on the tree and it tumbles over; it was dead, and we didn’t know it.
How do you save it? How do you save a friend? A friendship?
(This wasn’t what I had planned to write at all.)
You teach that we can find the answers in ourselves.
But you see, all that you find in ‘self’ is sorrow.
The depths of our hearts is misery.
It is a black hole of confusion.
The answer is not in the ‘self.’
You had asked for friendship when we were no longer children.
Did I do all that was fit for me to do as a friend?
But this isn’t for me to defend myself.
No, but I am here, friend, to let you see what a friend would do.
(And though the best of friends may fail, He doesn’t.)
He’s a Friend who takes my sorrows and burdens and I can trust that in His hand, that burden is cared for.
The winds of fall and winter have started to blow of late.
I look at the trees in the forest, and wonder if any of them should tumble at the next storm. (Would ours?)
I’ve told Him about it, my fear for the trees.
He told me He knows, and it’s in His hands.
These days, the wind still blows.
But me, I’m learning to sit still.
—-Matthew Henry on Ruth 3 —-
- To be satisfied in what was done: Sit still, my daughter, till thou know how the matter will fall (Ruth 3:18)–how it is decreed in heaven…
She had done all that was fit for her to do, and now she must patiently wait the issue and not be perplexed about it. Let us learn hence to cast our care upon providence, to follow that and attend the motions of it, composing ourselves into an expectation of the event, with a resolution to acquiesce in it, whatever it be. Sometimes that proves best done for us that is least our own doing. “Sit still, therefore, and see how the matter will fall, and say, Let it fall how it will, I am ready for it.”
- [He], having undertaken this matter, would approve himself a faithful careful friend: He will not be at rest till he have finished the matter. Though it was a busy time with him in his fields and his floor, yet, having undertaken to serve his friend, he would not neglect the business…
Much more reason have good Christians to be careful for nothing, but cast their care on God, because he has promised to care for them: and what need have we to care if he do? Sit still, and see how the matter will fall, for the Lord will perfect that which concerns thee, and will make it to work for good to thee, Ps. 37:4, 5; 138:8. Your strength is to sit still, Isa. 30:7.