I recently read in the news that gleaning is making a comeback – groups of folks are collecting leftover veg from fields that have been harvested, and they are then taking what they gather to foodbanks to help others. This reminds me of Ruth, in the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. She and her mother-in-law Naomi have lost everything, and so Naomi suggests that Ruth go gleaning in one of the nearby fields. Ruth ‘happens’ to pick a field belonging to Boaz, a kind relative who tells his men to deliberately leave a good amount on the ground so Ruth can collect a bumper supply. The film Schindler’s List tells the true story of German businessmen Oskar Schindler, and how he helped the Jewish workers in his factory, eventually giving away all his wealth to rescue them. In the book that the film is based on Schindler’s Ark, we read that Schindler used to wander around his factory, lighting up cigarettes which he then discarded rather than smoking, so that his workers could pick them up, put them out and sell them. Another kind of gleaning. One of the threads running through the film is the way that Oskar changes as he helps others, the kindness he offers has an impact on him, and he is not the same.
You can hear a longer version of this thought below: