Friday, 26 September 2014

Of Geese and Bible Stories by Susan L.

  The Canada geese are gathering in huge flocks. They overnight in the lake across the road. It's hard to miss them, they make a tremendous amount of noise discussing the day's business each evening. It's not uncommon to see them also gathered in freshly harvested fields of grain. They meander and squabble amongst the stubble in search of fallen oats or wheat or barley. It helps them plump up for the long flight south.
  It gets me thinking about Ruth. She gleaned the fields to find enough to eat for her and her mother-in-law. Like the geese, I wonder if there were other women in the field squabbling over the meager remains. Ruth knew this job was a matter of survival. I can see her bent over, watching where she steps, to pick up the seeds. I can see her rejoicing and giving thanks over each tiny grain. The two women would not starve. One, two or if she was lucky, she found a full head of grain that had fallen to the ground. It's backbreaking, hot and tiresome work to find enough to make any substantial amount of flour. It's a far cry from scooting over to the grocery store for a loaf of bread.
  Ruth was blessed to be noticed by the man who owned the grain. He provided amply for her by granting permission to take from the untouched parts of the field. Things got progressively better for her as the story goes on.
  Gleaning: finding treasures hidden in the barren stubble of what appears to be empty and desolate. They always there, the treasures, the good things, the blessings. We only need to look.
  Thank You Lord for grocery stores, for the means to get there and the finances to pay for a loaf of bread. Thank You Lord, for the hands that make it: the farmers who plant and harvest the grain to the person dressed in white who puts it in the oven. Thank You for the truck drivers, the railroads, the ships that spread the harvest far and wide.
  Thank You most of all that, in Christ, I have the right to reap the rich fullness of life. 
  "The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge." Ruth 2:12

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