hope; expectation of a desired outcome
literally: a cord; attached to the future
"...if I should say I have hope...." Ruth 1:12
Naomi has had husband and sons die: she has no hope for her or her abandoned daughters-in-law. She has no future hope, no cord, to offer them, let alone herself. Without hope, they wailed.
One daughter-in-law returned to her people, where she might secure a hope for her future. Ruth, though, attached her hope to Naomi:
"Where you go, I will go and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die, I will die and there I will be buried...(verses 16, 17)
To salve an unrequited hope, Ruth knew she would need family. She would need intimacy, closely tied to her mother-in-law. Later, we know her dedication to relationship would give her a new hope, a new husband with the same connections.
This is the hope of social capital. When we stay connected to the people who can most secure our future, our continuation, hope survives. This tells me that when I am in desperate straits, when I am feeling helpless, I need those around me who can connect me to the solutions, the relationships, the future I need.
Lord, give me the social capital, the connections to relationships so as to build hope for my future.