Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Learning from others

Back when we lived in Florida we learned about the Society of St. Andrew, a mainstream Xian group that does “gleaning”: going into already-picked fields to pick leftover fruits and vegetables and donating what's picked to food banks. We signed up to help a group pick sweet corn that was about to be plowed under at a farm about thirty miles away from our house.

By the end of the day our little group of twenty people, including a half-dozen children, had picked enough corn to fill half of the back of a delivery truck—about 4,000 pounds!

As we left, the man who was there from the food bank said to me “God bless you”—and he meant it. It struck me that lots of times we say things like that to each other, but it’s just a perfunctory thing—but he meant it sincerely, and I could feel the blessing of God wash over me. It was a powerful moment.

Anyway, just saying that it’s cool to be taught important spiritual lessons from someone of another faith—which is only to be expected, of course, since we Mormons may claim a monopoly on divine authority, but we oughtn’t ever claim to hold a monopoly on divine power.


Heather the Mama Duk said...

Mommie was saying something similar yesterday.

That's incredible that that much corn was picked from a field about to be plowed under!

Michelle said...

That's a cool story. Nicely written, too.

David B said...

@Michelle: Thanks.

@Heather: Yeah, it still blows my mind—i’d known there was wastage in modern farming, but i hadn’t realized quite how bad it was before that. It’s all a dollars and cents thing, too—once acreage has been picked over, there comes a point where anything that’s left over isn’t cost-effective any more, and if a particular few acres didn’t get even get picked at all during the window when it’s cost-effective to pick it, it just has to sit and rot.

I’ve never been a fan of “let the market decide” philosophies, but that sort of thing pushes me even further away from them.