Deuteronomy 24:19-22 When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.
In this time when so many people are still without jobs and with the unemployment benefits that had helped so many individuals survive this pandemic having now expired, it is a time to remember to share our blessings with others. I know what it is like to be without food for your children or medicine when you are sick. It is a time of hopelessness, and the generosity of others made the difference for my children and me.
I had to borrow infant formula to feed my sweet baby boy and depended on a church nearby for help feeding the other four children. Yes, it was embarrassing to have to ask for help. But in the midst of that season of neediness, God opened the hearts of others on our behalf, as people brought us boxes of food and encouraged me with God’s words that a better day would come.
I wanted to pretend that I didn’t need the help, ashamed of our poverty, but finally I understood that everyone goes through seasons of famine, whether it is food, love, employment, or housing, through no fault of their own, and find themselves in need of someone’s help. I never forgot that feeling of despair followed by gratefulness to God for opening people’s hearts to help us. And I promised to help others when I was back on my feet, a promise I try to always remember.
Food banks and other non-profits serving people in our local neighborhoods and around the world need all of the help they can get today, and the word of God reminds us not to keep everything to ourselves, but to provide portions for the foreigner (immigrant), the fatherless, and the widows. These are generally people like you and me who find themselves unable to meet the daily requirements that keep life and limb together. I was so impressed by schools that remained determined to feed children, even when they were closed.
So, whatever we can spare from our provisions, let us give cheerfully as much as we can spare. Acts 20:35 reminds us, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
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