Friday, December 20, 2013

How to Honor Jesus by Leaving Work Undone

Gleaning

A spiritual act of worship.
One way that modern business owners may dedicate their vocation to the Lord, or even those who are not business owners but find themselves financially blessed, is by adapting the OT practice of gleaning to modern use. (See Leviticus 23:22)

In OT times gleaning involved not reaping the agricultural fields right up to their very limit (and refusing to gather fruit which falls to the ground, etc.) so that the poor may come behind and work to provide for themselves.

In modern times gleaning may be thought of as leaving work undone-which you could do yourself-so that those who are poor or less fortunate may work to earn a living.

In South Florida a grocery store called Publix had a program that allowed people with special needs to collect the carts and so work to gain dignity and earn a living. Would it have been easier to hire one able bodied teenager to do the job?  Of course, but it wouldn't have been nearly the same blessing. When we moved to Boston, a friend of ours who was a lawyer left some work undone so that Heather could work for her and earn extra money to support our family in the transition.  We weren't poor, but it was a helping hand when we needed it.

The hardest part for the financially well-off of setting up a gleaning program is rarely the financial component.  It is the headache/time/frustration component.  Yet for Christians who are seeking a way to bless those around them through work gleaning may provide a way to help in a responsible, sustainable way.

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