Step Up With Steph

Ruth and Naomi

Written by Emmanuel Iduwe

I stood there, lost in thought. Staring blankly as Naomi repeated her question.

“Won’t it be better if you both return to your mother’s homes?” She said. This time looking straight at me. Standing beside me was Orpah who looked a bit uncomfortable, but for the second time we both agreed to go with her.

We were on our way to Judah. It had been a few weeks since we lost both Kilion and Mahlon, and although their deaths were devastating for both me and Orpah, considering we were married for 10 years, Naomi felt it the most. Now she had no one, her sons and her husband had all left her in this cruel world. All she had was me and Orpah, we weren’t going to take that from her too.

“Naomi, we will go with you to Judah. You can’t be alone” Orpah finally replied, with less conviction in her voice.

“I won’t be alone, I will be around my people. Go home to your mothers. Who knows, the Lord might bless you with another marriage there” Naomi said, almost amid tears.

But still, we held our resolve. We were going to stick with her till the very end, at least I was.

“It doesn’t make sense to go with me, I can’t give birth to other sons for you to marry. Even if I could, would you wait for them to grow up to be your husbands?”

She made a very compelling argument and from the corner of my eye, I could see Orpah nodding in approval.

“Go to your mothers. The Lord be with you. Thank you for sticking with me this far” Naomi said, sealing her argument. We all burst into uncontrollable tears, knowing letting go after all these years would be difficult.

Orpah took her hand, kissed and hugged her and bade us farewell.

“And you Ruth? Won’t you go to your people and your gods? Orpah has gone to her mother’s home, you should also” she said turning to me.

Although she might never admit to having a favourite daughter in-law, I had always felt Naomi took a special liking to me. She always preferred me above all others. I followed her everywhere; the market, farm or any special occasion she was invited for. We would often cook, clean, and talk about just anything. People started thinking we were blood sisters. I reminisced on all the good moments we shared while her sons were still alive. She would teach me about her God, and teach me how to pray to Him and do His will. She would often advise me on how to be a wonderful wife to her son, and teach me the secrets to a successful home.

In that moment, the love and admiration I had for Naomi suddenly multiplied. She had been there for me through thick and thin. She had taught me a great deal about life. She was a mother, sister and friend to me. What else could I ask for?

“No Naomi..” I said replying to her “Don’t ask me to leave you, because I won’t. I’ll go wherever you go. Your people will be my people, your God will also be my God. I’ll live where you live. It’s me and you against the world. Forever.”

The conviction in my voice made Naomi sob even more.


“But nothing Naomi. It has always been the two of us against all odds. You have defended me countless times and stood by me. Allow me to do the same for you.” I said holding her hands in mine.

Naomi stared deep into my eyes, with tears welling up in her eyes. She hadn’t expected that reply. She hugged me for a long time, as tightly as her aging body could muster. I was determined to be with her forever, no matter what.

“After all these years Ruth, after all that has happened. You would still stay?”

“There’s nowhere else I’d rather be. We are forever bound by love.” I said reassuringly.

She hugged me and we continued our journey to Judah.