Work in the margins
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. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.
- Leviticus 19:9-10
The Lord works in the margins. Those unharvested grapes and the edges of every field matter to him. He pays attention to the margins of our lives and those who live on the margins of society.
The Bible is full of stories of God’s faithful attention and wonderful work in marginal places and on behalf of marginal people. One famous story of this is found in the book of Ruth. A young widow and her mother-in-law make it through a tough season of life because a man named Boaz obeyed the Lord’s command to practice margin. Ruth found grain in Boaz’ field and found a husband as well. Her story eventually gets woven into the great stories of the great kings of Israel. The Lord can do awesome things with a small amount of margin.
Fast forward hundreds of years and through the rise and fall of several empires. In a small corner of Palestine you’ll find Jesus walking with his disciples along the edge of a field. The disciples have left everything to follow Jesus, who doesn’t own a field or a tractor or even a home. In their hunger, the disciples reach out and grab grain as they walk along the edge of the field. The Lord’s command from ages past provided food for those who followed him during his ministry on earth.
Even in our day and age the Lord works in the margins. When we make space in our schedules and our budgets and submit those marginal spaces to him, we experience a deep and profound intimacy with the Lord. He opens doors for us to be generous, to be helpful, and to serve. And when we find ourselves in need financially or socially, isn’t it wonderful to see the ways the Lord provides?
Take some time today to ask God to help you connect with him in the margins. Ask him to open your eyes and help you to see where he’s at work in your budget, your schedule, and your community.