The snow stopped falling as Ruth’s hand slipped slowly into the deep pocket of Bruce’s leather jacket. He rolled his hand to take hold of hers, interlacing his fingers with her own. Together they stood on the weather-worn pier at the edge of Lake Erie. It was a moment lifted from a picture postcard.
When she was five years old, Ruth’s mother had read her the story of King Arthur and his magical kingdom of Camelot. Each night for three weeks she lay under her My Little Pony quilt, eyes closed, imagining herself as the beautiful Guinevere being swept off her feet by her own prince charming.
Her mind drifted through the years before her parents died. She shivered despite the lack of a breeze and gripped Bruce’s hand all the tighter. Shuffled between foster families, Ruth spent her teenage years longing for a redeemer from her pain. She was sure today was the start of something new.
The boat pulled up next to the dock and the captain thew the nylon double braid rope to the young deckhand who cinched up the boat. Ruth steadied herself with the boat’s railing as Bruce helped her step aboard the boat. She let go of her knight’s arm, but Bruce held her hand tight.
A gray tugboat skimmed past roiling a wave toward the small boat. The boat rocked and the black glass of the deep lake stared into Ruth’s frightened eyes, but Bruce’s strong arm held her firm. He was not only her knight in shining armor, he was her anchor in the storm.
Bruce smiled and hopped onto the boat next to Ruth. He opened his jacket, wrapped it around her shoulders, and held her close. She pressed herself safely into her saviour’s warm frame. Under his wing, she would never be alone again.
I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a near kinsman (Ruth 3:9).