And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.
As a Christian I am always astounded when I want to introduce someone to another Christian, but that Christian doesn’t want to meet them. It shouldn’t happen, but sometimes it does. Especially if the person I want to present brings nothing notable to the table. Most of my friends and people I minister bring absolutely nothing outstanding into a relationship.
I think disinterest in others is something that a worldly, religious church leadership has taught it’s congregants, and it has spread like a cancer among the religious because it appears to be spiritual or something. Indifference is theopposite of Love. God is love so we don’t want to be the opposite of Him if we are true believers and followers of Him.
Fields, in the Bible, represent the world. Although Leviticus, Jesus and thebook of Ruth were talking about real fields, there was a symbolism as well. Many times the words in the Bible have more than double meanings, it can have 4 or six meanings for the same word.
When the Bible is talking about Israel or King David for example, I know God is referring to me personally, the religious/spiritually lost, sinners, Christians in general or the church of today. Gleaning also applies to me although we are strictly lower middle class. We glean the scraps left behind by the King so we can humble ourselves, and to thank the King. He leaves us scraps to keep us going, knowing that we are heading for a far greater place.
Gleaning means leaving crumbs from the harvest for the poor. It also means getting something from what seems to be worthless. I am always amazed for example how a bum doesn’t pick up pennies, not even down here in Nicaragua.
We as Christians should also pick up the scraps from what the religious has left behind. Pretty people, popular and healthy people, the rich get absorbed by worldly, religious churches. Ambitious Hirelings love rich and pretty people filling their pews. They talk to them, and make them feel welcome. The rich make the worldly church pretty, the pretty people attract other pretty people. Not true of True pastors, they love and talk to everyone.
Gleaning is a noun as well as a verb. Crops left intentionally on the ground are considered gleanings. Looking for, searching and picking up these crops is also called gleaning. I call it evangelism and mining pearls of wisdom.
I have found that I have learned (gleaned) the most beautiful life lessons from the ‘less than perfect’ people I have met in life. People that I was reluctant to get to know. Even non Christians teach me a lot. I learn about myself, God, and how to LISTEN expectantly, attentively and with love.
I challenge you to spend time getting to know someone you really don’t want to meet. A lot of times Christians use the word ‘discernment’ as a cop out phrase to not getting to know someone, but I really think that is an overused term, and very rarely from God.
Don’t use religion as an excuse for arrogance, superiority or laziness. Take time to go the extra mile and get to know others even though at first it may seem like you will get nothing out of it. I guarantee that you will be pleasantly surprised and end up glorifying God in the process, more times than not.