Now Naomi had a respected relative, a man of worth, through her husband from the family of Elimelech. His name was Boaz. Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field so that I may glean among the ears of grain behind someone in whose eyes I might find favor.”
Naomi replied to her, “Go, my daughter.” So she went; she arrived and she gleaned in the field behind the harvesters. -Ruth 2:1-3
Here is humility at work. Naomi and Ruth will starve if they don’t find a way to provide for themselves. It’s harvesting season, and Ruth gets the idea to take the leftover grain in Naomi’s wealthy relative’s field. This opportunity for gleaning was actually a part of the custom of the Israelites, to intentionally leave a little behind so the poor people of the land could come and eat. Can you imagine if this were constantly carried out in our community? Maybe families would scoop up the leftovers from their dinner tables and leave them on a hot plate on their front porches for the families next door. I lived in a neighborhood kinda like this once. When you finished with something, if it was still usable, you put it out on your curb. We once left our dryer out there because it took too long to dry the babies’ laundry. It was scooped up within 30 minutes by another family who had no way at all to dry their babies’ laundry.
Have you been in this position before? Living on someone’s else’s leftovers, kindly left out just for you? How does it feel to be dependent on someone else? Lord knows I much prefer to be the one giving than the one receiving. How about you? Remember today that we are spiritual descendants of the receivers, not just the givers. Remember Ruth who gleaned the fields, and Jesus, too.
Even Jesus received provision from people who funded his ministry. He was cared for by those who made meals and welcomed him into their homes. His feet were dried with a friend’s hair. Our leader gave and received.
Go in the wake of the harvesters and receive what you need today.
Be with all of those who have to glean from others’ wealth of resources today, O Lord. Let me know when it is time to give and when it is time to receive. And help me know I follow Jesus, either way. Amen.
Ask for help in some small way today. Let the response given to you inform how you will respond the next time someone asks you for help.
Do a family circle where everybody is getting and giving a shoulder rub. Talk about this is how our spiritual lives work too- we are served and we serve, in Jesus’ name.