Checking Fields for the Forgotten

by | Nov 14, 2011 | Uncategorized

Do we see the marginalized around us?

I ponder this challenge from the pulpit after an illustration from the book of Ruth. The way this wealthy landowner named Boaz stops in the middle of a busy day at the “office”, notices the outcast working in his fields.  Extends grace to this woman named Ruth. How he changes her life because he pays attention; see her need and responds. 

Do I bother to check my fields at the grocery store, the vet’s office, at school – do I notice the needs of the poor in a small city steeped in affluence while I check off the to-do list?  Because the needy don’t stand with cardboard signs, lie under a bridge, or walk alongside the road in my small town.

Earlier this week I buy a bag of groceries to help feed struggling families for Thanksgiving but I don’t see their faces, know their names, their shirt size, what makes them cry. Just drop off the bag with the others in the bucket on the front porch of a friend.

And that same day, I stand in the hallway in front of my son’s bathroom listening to Elva, the one who manages the five Hispanic women that clean my home every two weeks.  Her dark eyes gleam when she shares how more than one hundred people show up every week for the bible study she oversees at her church.

She explains that this isn’t the norm at her church, how people delve into the bible, find truth like it is buried treasure. Says she loves Jesus so much, wants others to experience what she knows.

Elva starts the cleaning business to help the Hispanic community.  Provide income for families that come straight from Mexico and have nothing. Carrying bags of my son’s clothes to her car, she tells me her garage looks like a miniature Wal-Mart.  Shelves hold cast-offs from clients like a Salvation Army drop-off.

And when Elva isn’t riding around in the worn out van full of cleaning supplies, she is teaching these women that dust my shelves how to sew and quilt in her home after work.  Meets with twenty-five families ESL teachers identify as needy.

Because she doesn’t want to call them and find out what they need like a sales clerk filling an order. Her heart fuels with compassion, to sit beside, look in the eyes, build relationship. 

Because when Christ dwells in the heart of a believer, it moves one to action.  We freely give from what we receive.  

We give mercy because we have known the hand of compassion

Extend kindness because we have tasted charity

Grant forgiveness because we know the relief of pardon.

Listen with understanding because we know what it means to be misunderstood.

And I have done this, check the fields in Rwanda, and see the marginalized, extend grace.  Compassion hangs like a garment on me for the one who lives what it means to be alone, provide for one’s self in the absence of parents. I have looked in the eyes, seen the pain, heard the cry for help, and wrapped my arms around shoulders, asked God to heal, provide what Ruth gleans.

But I wonder, while I have checked the fields beyond my borders, have I missed the marginalized in my own community because I am too busy to notice?  Lord, let me see as Boaz saw, respond like Elva when she checks her fields.

How do you find those in need in your commuity?


Joining Ann today to give thanks:

  • Candlelight and the smell of cold.
  • Warm blankets.
  • For Elva and the way she lives compassion.
  • Silly songs when the day is done from a boy with a pure heart.
  • Friends that make the countenance of my children glow.
  • The way God helps us see how He orchestrates time, plans our days when we think there are no plans.
  • The mother-in-law, who says yes, gives me the gift of travel with my husband.
  • Medicine that makes a dogs eye better, and him run happy.
  • For honest friends without expectation, give grace because they love.

 Also linking with Graceful, Playdates with God, Write it Girl!

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  1. Donna Schultz

    Thanks for the comment on my blog. You mentioned your study of the book of Ruth, so I came to read your post. May we all have the eyes of Christ to see and hearts to respond. You may want to check out my recently published ebook, Lessons From Ruth: Discovering Your Destiny at Sorry for the shameless plug. I don’t normally do that, but it seemed to fit in this case.

  2. Pamela

    What a beautiful post, bull of grace and love. I’d love to wear the same cloak of compassion for those in my community. I’ll be looking for the marginalized.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Pamela. I know they are there in our midst, just praying God gives me eyes to see and courage to act.

  3. Amy

    Sometimes the marginalized in our own communities lead lives that can, to us, be invisible. I’ve been learning this and realizing how easy it can be not to notice these people. And yet your challenge is a real one – God would have us see and love these folks. I’ve been making an effort lately to keep my eyes more open whereever I go and trying to help in little ways, even if all I have to offer is a smiled greeting.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Glad to know you have the same thoughts in your community too. I am trying to pay better attention. Just knowing that I can help the Hispanic community through Elva is great. Sometimes we need an advocate to lead us to them. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your heartfelt comment. Really appreciate it!

  4. Stacey29lincoln (@stacey29lincoln)

    This was exactly what we talked about Sunday at church. As we focus on what Jesus loves, we become like Him. We gain influence. We care about what He cares about.

    Love this friend! And the reminder that my time to notice is in the midst of my field.
    Thanks for being a Write It, Girl!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Stacey. So nice when you read a sacred echo. Thrilled to be a Write It, Girl with all those fabulous women!

  5. Jennifer


  6. roseann elliott

    love this…I was just talking with my 2 youngest…look for those who others see as invisible…reach out to those kids who are not so easy…this is where God’s love is formed in us…praying along with you…opened eyes and hearts…blessings…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      So nice to know you are praying alongside Roseann. Always a blessing to hear from, you have such a lovely heart.

  7. Katie Orr (@KatieOrr22)

    “We give mercy because we have known the hand of compassion.
    Extend kindness because we have tasted charity.
    Grant forgiveness because we know the relief of pardon.
    Listen with understanding because we know what it means to be misunderstood.”

    This is beautiful. Experiencing grace and mercy enables us to act.

    Thanks for linking up!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Katie! Congratulations on your new post as writer for the MOD Squad.

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