The word, gleaning, is an ancient word; but it can give us valuable insights into the compassionate heart of God. He told the Israelites,
When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 23:22)
In the Old Testament book of Ruth, we see that Ruth’s opportunity to glean from the fields of Boaz helped her to survive when she was at a very low point in her life.
14At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.” When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. 16 Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”
17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah. 18 She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough. (Ruth 2:14-17)
David Wheeler’s story, “A Cry for Relief,” has the substance of words that can feed the soul who may be suffering. At the end of each chapter, you will find the opportunity to sift through his words to glean the depth of commitment that can be valuable in equipping each of us to be caregivers…a field guide for training in love…because there can never be enough equipped caregivers.