Our current culture would tell us that we have to go big or go home, that we have to be the chief and not the Indian, that we have to be the starter and no the backup. Whether we mean to or not, we sometimes send the message that we value flash over substance, that we prefer the spotlight over behind-the-scenes, that we crave fame over faithfulness. Just look at our girl Ruth, though. She wasn’t on the front lines. She was a gleaner, not a reaper. – Sophie Hudson
In the Old Testament, especially in the story of Ruth, when it was time for harvesting the reapers would gather the majority of the crop and then the gleaners would come behind and pick up whatever was dropped or left over. Each person had their role in the story and ultimately, gleaning showed God’s provision.
Gleaning today looks like faithfulness in the ordinary. Gleaning is accepting the idea of being small. Gleaning may be behind-the-scenes. It might be quiet.
Gleaning doesn’t pave the way, but it plays an important role in the harvest. It doesn’t mean that you’re poor or less than or that all you get are scraps and leftovers. Gleaning means that you trust God’s provision and are perfectly content to play second fiddle in the band — because you trust He is writing your story for His glory and your good.
Ruth gleaned in a field of barley. My field looks a little different. My field feels regular. Ordinary. Small. But it is the one He has given to me, the one He has called me to, and so I will glean.
Maybe yours looks ordinary, too. Maybe you are parenting your children, serving at church nursery, going to school, or taking care of your aging parents.
Some will pave the way. Some will write words that you’ve thought yourself and it will go viral. Some will always seem just two steps ahead. But there is a place for the gleaners.
Glean, girl! Own it! Walk faithfully and work in the field you’re called to.