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When a tornado touched down in Joplin Missouri, many people lost not only their homes, but also their relatives and close friends. It is difficult to fathom the loss people endure in such times, but the pain may be akin to that of Naomi, whom we read about in the book of Ruth. Naomi with her husband and two sons left Bethlehem, and settled in the neighboring country of Moab. There in Moab, Naomi’s husband died. This left her a widow. She had two sons and they married Moabite women. But after ten years of marriage, these two sons died. This turn of events not only left Naomi bereft of her husband and sons, she now had no one to support her. In that day, women had to count on the men in their lives to provide support. Yet despite these horrendous setbacks, Naomi did not lose her integrity. In the midst of her adversity, she made a great impact on her daughters-in-law. When she heard that the famine had subsided, she decided to go back home to Bethlehem. Her two daughters-in-law insisted on going with her. Naomi had won their hearts. They saw character traits in her that they did not want to lose. Like Naomi, we may lose our dearest relatives and friends through tragedy. Still, we don’t have to become bitter and make life difficult for others. We can still let the sunshine of God’s love shine through us. We can still help others find their way.

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