In Deuteronomy, in the Old Testament, we read: “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” (Deuteronomy 7: 9 NIV).
Naomi did not feel chosen in a good way when she left Bethlehem. There was no wheat or barley harvest and no way to make bread for her family. She had to go where her husband led her and she wanted her sons to have food to eat and water to drink during a time of famine. In my novel, Naomi and Ruth: Loyalty Among Women, she was expecting another child whom she very much wanted.
Naomi's life is all about caring for her family, but after her sons and husband die and she is stranded in the foreign land of Moab where she has lived for ten years, her grief is so great that she wants to return to Bethlehem so that she may be buried amongst her ancestors.
Yet, she very much loves Ruth, her daughter-in-law, who is a Moab. And it is Ruth who keeps her going and ultimately gives her life fresh meaning.
Thomas Merton said "Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another." Or with others!