What thought goes through your mind when you think "stranger"? Is it the "Stranger. Danger!!" from Kindergarten Cop? Or the way we try to help our children understand NOT to talk to 'strangers'? Then again we could wonder who is the "stranger" -- the new person in the community? Maybe the "stranger" is someone who thinks, or looks, differently from us? It is definitely something to think about!
Our Scripture reading, today, is Ruth 1:1-17. First Naomi is the stranger in a hostile (read about the way the Hebrew people felt about Moab) country but her sons marry Moabite women. Then, after all three women are widows, they start back to Bethlehem. One daughter-in-law returns to "her mother's house" but Ruth decides to follow Naomi "for where you go, I will go,....your God will be my God" (v. 16).
Then Jesus tells us, in the Gospel reading (Mark 3:33-35), "whoever does the will of God" in answer to a question about his (Jesus') mother, brother and sister. Jesus also points out, in Luke 10, who the 'neighbor' is - the one who stops to help - in sharing about "loving neighbor as ourselves." Taking care of the stranger, even helping the stranger, is how we do God's will "loving neighbor" so others can see and follow "your God will be my God." (Ruth 1:16)
So...... where are we? Are we trying to show 'love' to the stranger? Are we listening to the stranger even if they come from a different point of view let alone country? Can we TRY the "new thing," as caregivers, to help - someone else or "our" care person? Even if it seems/feels strange can we show God's love?