“Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee. For whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” (Ruth 1:16-17)Now is a good time to reflect on Ruth and Naomi because same-sex marriage is in the news and June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month (even officially proclaimed by President Obama this week). The painting “Whither Thou Goest” was commissioned in 2004 by Rev. Paul Graetz, pastor of First Metropolitan Community Church of Atlanta, for a sermon series that he was doing on the Book of Ruth. It remains in the permanent collection of First MCC of Atlanta, where it hangs in the meditation chapel. First MCC of Atlanta is a progressive community of faith that welcomes people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Naomi was the mother-in-law of Ruth and Orpah. After their husbands die, Naomi urges both of them to remarry. The painting shows Orpah leaving while Ruth stays with Naomi.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Love between women honored
Trudie Barreras. The painting shows Ruth pledging her love to Naomi. Ruth’s famous vows to Naomi are often used in heterosexual weddings. Few people realize that these beautiful words were originally spoken by one woman to another: