Godly Gleaning

Today’s Readings: Ruth 2; Acts 27; Jeremiah 37; Psalm 10

August 9, 2016 

glean: ɡlēn/ verb extract (information) from various sources.
synonyms: obtain, get, take, draw, derive, extract, cull, garner, gather; More
collect gradually and bit by bit.
historical definition: gather (leftover grain or other produce) after a harvest.

What an amazing story we heard yesterday from Jillian that brought tears to my eyes helping me to take a breath and reflect on our own marriage in the midst of a busy household preparing for the start of school.  I’m reminded to not take things for granted since we don’t know when God will call us home. Prayers for the McGriff’s and family throughout this week as they celebrate Elmer Newton.

The story of Ruth and the introduction of Boaz in today’s reading is a story I never really thought about until this time through. Ruth, through her genuine love stays with her mother-in-law Naomi and returns to the country of Bethlehem right at the beginning of harvest season. What love, honor, and dedication to another person.

Humbly, Ruth realizes she can’t remain idle at home and goes out to the field to glean for her family. (Ruth 2:2) Ruth’s example of diligence, humility, and love is an example for us today.  Diligently she goes off and takes on a job to provide for her family. Even though her previous lifestyle didn’t include gleaning fields she does it because it’s what she has to do.  Today, the desire by some to seek only glamorous high paying positions or that a job will come to them can leave many just waiting and jobless. Here is an example from Ruth that honest work is better than no work when you are trying to help yourself or others taking initiative makes a difference. Diligence promises well and there is nothing wrong with honest employment.

When Ruth goes to the field you hear an amazing work environment.  Imagine when your employer starts the day with, “The Lord be with you!” and you answer with, “The Lord bless you.”  Boaz came out to his field to greet his crew in a loving and praising way grateful for what they are doing. (What a great reminder for myself and others to praise all employees.)  We can bless them, even if for some reason you can’t say it out loud?!  Pray for this courage and follow through with the way you treat people.  This has allowed me to reflect on ways that I interact with those I work with.  Is there opportunity to share this love and blessing from our Lord? (Ruth 2:4) Boaz notices Ruth gleaning and inquires with his foreman. After hearing that she has been there since sun up and worked all day with minimal breaks Boaz takes heart and recognizes her work ethic and love for Naomi. Boaz has the crew watch out for her and remembers the story that has been shared with him about the loss of Ruth’s husband. (Ruth 2:17) How are we looking out for those we work with? Is it a kind word or recognition?  Boaz is sensitive to her needs and shows a genuine care for Ruth.

How often do we go beyond the accepted patterns of providing for those less fortunate? 

It’s amazing some of the stories I’ve heard at registration for school that include a very adverse circumstance.  Where parent, grandparent, or relative is trying to get their child signed up for school. School provides many students an opportunity to be surrounded by love and attention in the midst of many things going on in the current place they are calling home.  Pray for our students, families, and school staffs to get to know these stories and through the all the curriculum, first and always show love:)

Ruth gives Naomi her gleaning and what she had for left overs from earlier that day. Naomi is grateful and blesses Boaz and gives advice to Ruth to stay close with Boaz and his young women. Naomi recognizes in Boaz an honest loving person who is dedicated to the Lord.

“May he be blessed by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” (Ruth 2:20)

Reflecting on this story is also an example of how God always provides for us. When Ruth goes to glean she ends up in Boaz’s field.  (All part of God’s plan that will continue tomorrow.)

So if you are in Ruth’s shoes where are you gleaning? Are you taking initiative looking out for others? 

If you are in the shoes of Boaz how are you treating others at work? How are you treating those less fortunate at this current moment? 

Dear Lord,

Help us to do what is right similar to the story with Ruth and Boaz today.  Help us to recognize those who need support and reach out to them.  When faced with challenges help us to make the right choice and not just the easy choice.  Thank you for our faith believing you are always directing our lives for your purpose.