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
God has a heart for the poor, for the weak, for the disadvantaged, for the foreigners. And: God has a heart for us! Our generosity helps us to depend on HIM and not on our wealth. It`s so easy for us to start depending on the gifts instead on the giver. That`s why I think the text ends with: “I am the Lord your God”, meaning: “not your wealth, but I AM your God”! By being generous we decrease the risk of attaching our heart and well-being on what we own. Also, interesting: God does not seem to be content to leave the issue of the poor up to the personal compassion of each citizen. Rather he makes a law by which each field is “taxed” and a basic “social security system” (so to speak) is established throughout the land.
How am I doing when it comes to being generous? It`s one thing to be generous to people I love and care about. But what about being generous to the person I don`t know, to the foreigner, to the one who can`t pay me back or won`t be around to show his/her gratitude to me? Recently a homeless man at the Yokohama station asked me to buy him a drink and some food. And as a “good Christian” that`s what I did! But to my shame I have to say that I was rather a bit irritated by his request. I wonder if the farmers who had to leave the grain at the edge where also struggling to do it with a generous heart and not out of obligation.
Lord – thank you that you are so generous. You did not only give us the ” leftovers” at the edge, but you gave yourself in Jesus. You loved us not because we loved you and did good to you. But rather you loved us when we still where “strangers” to you. You loved us first and you loved us unconditionally. Fill me with your love and with your generous heart today!