Dedication—Even to the End

Read: Ruth 1:7-17

Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. (v. 17)

After embracing and kissing each of her daughters-in-law, Naomi urged them to return to their families of origin. One did, but Ruth refused, instead saying, “Where you die I will die.” Such devotion, such personal dedication and complete abandonment to self: such are the traits of Ruth and so too of Carrie.

Carrie had been a respiratory therapist for 26 years. Next to her faith and family, her job was her passion. As the coronavirus situation worsened, her 23-year-old daughter pleaded, “What if something happens?” Her mother responded, “If I die, then I die . . . doing what I love and I’m saving lives.”

Something did happen and she quickly fell prey to the virus too. As her physical condition worsened, however, so did the physical integrity of the local dams. On May 19, two of the dams released a deluge destroying everything downstream. The hospital where Carrie lay attached to a ventilator soon flooded and power loss became imminent. A disaster within a disaster! She and other patients were airlifted to safety, but Carrie’s condition worsened.

Ruth was committed to Naomi. Carrie was committed to her patients. Both were motivated by a selfless love and commitment to God. “My faith in the Lord is what moves me to be a better person,” wrote Carrie during her final days. With her family virtually “present” and her husband holding her hand, they prayed, sang hymns, and expressed their love as Carrie died. —Tammy DeRuyter

As you pray, ponder what or for whom you would lay down your life.

About the Author

Tammy DeRuyter is a former stockbroker turned student of theology and history. She holds master’s degrees in both from Fuller Theological Seminary and Central Michigan University. Married for more than 25 years to Michael, an ordained RCA pastor, they have three emerging, young adult children ages 20, 21, and 22—the youngest of whom was adopted at 11.