Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 162: Happy 1st Birthday, Seble

Before my beautiful niece came home, I wrote her a story. It's a story that I wanted her mom and dad to have and cherish. Today I gave it to them in a shorter storybook version that will be easier for them to read, and way more colorful! But here is the original.
Happy birthday little Seble!
Seble’s Story
For my niece Seble
May you grow to be a woman like Ruth, a woman a great character and strength, and may you reap a harvest of grace from the Great Redeemer.

    Understanding the story of Seble takes understanding another story, a true story, a great story. And like all great stories it begins…
    Once upon a time many many years ago, far, far away, in a small town called Bethlehem, there lived a man named Elimelech and his wife Naomi. They had two sons. In all of Israel, Bethlehem was a town known for farming. In fact it was sometimes called the House of Bread, for it was where wheat, and barley grew in abundance.
    But something very sad happened in Bethlehem. A famine came, and there was no food. Desperate to care for their two boys, Elimelech and Naomi left their home and headed for a strange land called Moab.
    The people of Moab weren’t like the people of Israel. They did not worship the one true God, and so the family was very different from all the others around them.
    And it was there, in the land of Moab, that Naomi would suffer her greatest heartaches. First, her husband died. Then her sons married women from Moab, and for ten years neither could have any children. Finally, both her sons died leaving Naomi alone with her two daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth./
    After all these long, hard years away from her homeland, Naomi longed for home. She had heard that the time of famine was over and that food was plentiful again. So Naomi decided to go back home.
    She turned to her daughters-in-law and told them to return back to their own people and their own families. She knew she had nothing to offer them. She had no other sons, and the life of a woman with no husband was hard, and she wished better things for them.
    Orpah hugged Naomi and said good-bye.
    Ruth hugged Naomi and wouldn’t let go.
    Ruth believed in the God of Israel, and she trusted Him to care for her. She loved her mother-in-law and promised to always stay with her and care for her.
    So Naomi and Ruth traveled back to Bethlehem, and were welcomed back by the people.
    Now, these two women had nothing. They had suffered great sadness, and didn’t have any way to make money. They were alone.
    But Ruth wanted to take care of Naomi. So she went out to the fields at the time of the harvest. She picked up pieces of grain so that should could make bread.
    The owner of the field noticed Ruth, and saw that she was a hard worker and honest. He had heard of how kind she had been to her mother-in-law. So he told the field workers to make sure that Ruth could gather lots and lots of grain!
    Oh what wonderful fortune! Oh what amazing grace! Ruth and Naomi were able to eat and had grain left over to make bread- enough bread to last them a good while!
    You see, it was no chance that Ruth went to the field she did. It was no chance that the owner of the field was a man who could take care of Ruth.
    It was planned by the God of Israel. At the time of the harvest, when two women had no hope, God gave them the chance to be saved, redeemed.
    Ruth married the owner of the field, and even though she was never able to have children, she had a son. And one day Ruth’s great grandson became the greatest king of all of Israel. And from that king came the greatest King of all.
    Many, many years later in another land far away, under one of the last harvest moons, in the darkness of night, a shadow passed along a dirt road carrying a bundle. The bundle was placed gently behind a sheet metal gate, and you could heard the smallest whimper. It was a sad moment as the sweet bundle was left. Out of sadness and despair, with no other hope, the shadow walked away.
    Cold, hungry, and sick, the little bundle waited for the morning. Finally dawn came, and the bundle was discovered.
    Oh the treasure that was found in that bundle! For it was a sweet baby girl. Desperate for care, she was taken away and placed in the care of the police.
    It was there that this little girl was given her name, the name of the harvest: Seble. Under the careful watch of the God of Israel, she was brought back to good health. Grace had smiled on her.
    In yet another land, far, far away, the telephone rang, and an anxious mother answered. All the waiting and hoping and praying had led to this one moment! “Yes! We will redeem her!” the mother cried.
    Just as a farmer rejoices in his harvest, so did the family rejoice over the gift of their redeemed bundle. For where there was no hope, there was now a future. Out of sadness had come joy.
    So just as Ruth found redemption, so did baby Seble, and because the One from Ruth‘s family, all may be redeemed into hope and joy. Seble’s story is not just about Seble

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