Written on June 15, 2016. By Shari Norvell
Over the weekend, we celebrated Shavout, a Feast cradled in three sundowns and two sunrises. A table set that we could sit for a spell. That we might linger longer than days set aside and invite seconds to become season. A season that knocks upon deep doors, called Harvest. Not a harvest we cry out for, but are called to.
During Shavout, it is customary to read the story of Ruth and Boaz. I love such traditions, because as I read, I hear the voices throughout the world joining me, spinning and sewing (or maybe sowing) until the story is ours once more. And we are found together, as we were, we are, always meant to be.
I know their story so well, I could recite it as well as read. Yet I read, fingers tracing every worn word, for the very feel of it chases and changes me. For it lures a longing from me each and every time. Each one distinct from the last. Each soaring and searing until it’s satisfaction is sealed.
This year’s read and render found me absolutely arrested in a spot of splendor whose bank I want to sit upon forever.
He also said, “Bring me the shawl (veil) you are wearing and hold it out.” When she did so, he poured into it six measures of barley and placed the bundle on her. Then he went back to town. Ruth 3:15
Boaz was a man of few words, but those words were Ruth’s reroute to entryways that took her from cut corners to full fields.
On a dusky evening upon a threshing floor, a wealthy warrior found the richness of a poor princess. Mystery and intrigue engulfed them and their great fear was not in being discovered, but in not being.
Bold and beautiful Ruth came to discover if Boaz’s heart was a house or a home for her. Wood and stone or flesh and blood. In moonlight’s melody, she found the curtain raised, the veil vanished. All beyond the threshold, hers to hold.
He asked one thing in return. Uncover. Untame. Unveil. A forecast and foretell of a Boaz to come who would give and seek the same from the Ruth wrapped in the world.
Undo every jeer and jostle of judgement of those who can’t see and don’t know. Let them behold what you believe. Let your faith be their fortune.
He sought not the shawl on her shoulders but the veil of her vascular. And as the drape dropped, a world, Ruth’s world saw what had become of her. The penniless, pagan peasant now proclaiming, praising princess. And in that moment, her world was filled with glory. His glory.
The cloth of covering became the tapestry of treasure. A kingly knapsack carried by a queen. Did her world recognize her as she returned to Naomi with legacy lounging on her back? Was there anything familiar about her as she carried the first fruits of fellowship? Did her newly applied watermark cause a whoosh and whir or did they simply murmur and mumble as they tried to recall who she reminded them of?
And was the silence deafening and dramatic when remembrance came? That she was the He they knew but had not fully found. The girl they couldn’t see before was now beauty beheld. The beauty that created and captured them displayed and declared in a dainty damsel. And now rumbling and reckoning in a peering people. Teetering on the precipice of their own shine.
Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3: 15-18
Whenever anyone turns to Him, they are unveiled. The burn and bright is not from faces set fire, but hearts hewn. Screens scrapped. Shields surrendered.
Speculation creates spectators. And I just can’t. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not anymore. I don’t want a vaster view but a broader behold. I need every sense invaded so a riot within me is instigated. Being transformed is not about how weird I can look but how wild I can live. Brilliant and beaming.
The set up of this Shavout for me is the discovery that I care not if a panoramic picture is taken of the things that press and protrude from messy drawers of my life’s dresser. If those things crest and careen, I’m alright. For I have unearthed a truth. What I hide is not tattered photographs and mysterious missives. It was and has been what His presence presents. That I am not tame but tested. Not domesticated but yielded. The altered me is no longer willing to allow anything but what I look like with Him cascading out.
With an unveiled heart I can go anywhere with Him. The always been and the yet to come. The places I have been before that carry the interest of beyond.
Life is not the mountain top. It is how we carry what we discover there. It is how we bring it down. It is how we reveal and relent it. It’s how it transforms us on the way in and the way out. And it’s dangerous, for once we truly choose that life, we will never want to return to the one we had.
What are you hiding in your veiled heart? Can you be c outrageous enough to cry out for the curtain to come down?