"Two Sisters in Soul,"

Tribute to Ruth Stadem Harrington By Nephew Ron Ginther


I want to tell about a Ruth,

It’ll be the plain, unvarnished truth.

Her namesake that is in the Bible*

Was so pure there was no libel.

Obeying the counsel of mother-in-law,

She never set wagging the fool’s jaw.

Always loving, giving of herself,

She gained renown and even wealth!

But the best thing was she birthed a child,

Of the line of which came a Savior mild.

He is Jesus, our Good Shepherd, Lord,

Who reigns in Heaven, by angels’ adored.


So the one we know by the very same name—

To which no one could add more lasting fame—

Had much to think about in her first years

That might have grown her beyond her peers.

How she loved her home and parents!

To her they were perfection and excellence!

In her eyes the Farm was a paradise, not plain,

Where no sin entered in, nor anything to blame.

It explains why, in her frame of mind,

She did something wonderful you seldom find.

When she was a child she washed the feet

Of Mama and Papa—what a treat!

How hard they worked the long, Farm day,

But this was how she with love could repay.

Papa would never forget how it felt,

As she bathed his feet and at their bed knelt.

It was her idea, she did it alone,

She gave of her heart, with no money to own.


So too did Ruth whom we know from God’s Book,

Who followed Naomi, whom she never forsook.

These two we know were sisters in soul,

They gave of themselves, not part, but whole.

Why can’t we be a little like them

When we meet again at the Farm reunion?

To kneel and wash another’s feet

Instead of the usual words to greet

May bring forth something heavenly in us

Instead of mere noisy bustle and fuss.

Angels may come down just to see

Us kneel and minister tenderly.

Love could even pour forth anew

And spread beyond the gate of Plain View!


So now you know this little story

Of how Ruth brought the Farm real glory.

She has left us to meet her Lord,

The Same who for us His blood out-poured.

He too washed his disciples’ feet,

--our King who soon our praise will greet

When the glad morning dawns so bright

Our tears of joy won’t dim the sight!

*The Book of Ruth in the Bible, where Ruth the Moabite daughter-in-law of Naomi the Israelite widow chose to follow her impoverished mother-in-law to a foreign land to help her in her old age rather than seek another husband in her own land amidst her own people. Doing exactly what Naomi advised, Ruth gained a noble man and a rich landowner, Naomi’s kinsman Boaz, as her husband! But she also became thereby the mother of a boy, Obed, whose son would be Jesse, whose son would be David (who established the royal family line that gave birth to the Lord Jesus!)

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