Gomer: Gilbert of the Fields
One Saturday I saw a man working his way up our street picking up pecans. I thought he may have had permission until he made his way into our yard. I honestly wasn't sure if he was homeless or confused. So I went and got my husband to check on him. Here is a reason I love my husband: He did not scold the man for stealing our pecans. He invited him to eat lunch with us. Gilbert feasted on 2 Hamburgers, a hot dog, a grapefruit that he had Denbigh cut up for him, two glasses of tea, and a glass of water. I was pretty impressed. He was a small, 87 year old man.
Gilbert spent over an hour telling Denbigh wild stories about being a migrant worker when he was younger and other things that I cannot repeat here on this blog. Denbigh shared with him about the love of God and what we were doing with this house. Though his English was broken, his belly was full. I thanked God for the opportunity to feed Him and I rehearsed Isaiah 58:10 in my mind. "Give them what you have to sustain yourself and your light will rise in darkness". How I desperately want the light to rise in this dark place. I want God to be seen, wide-eyed by people who run from Him to alcohol, cocaine, and sex. I reminded God of this promise and He assured my spirit that light would shine here.
The whole thing made me think of the verse in Deuteronomy that told the Israelites to leave the corners of their field ungleaned so that the poor and needy would be provided for. As I stared at my wedding band engraved with a reminder from the book of Ruth, I remember how she lived on the edges of a man's field. God brought us a gift. He drew Gilbert into a tiny orchard of seven pecan trees and He gave us a chance to literally give thanks for the grace we have.
I fell in love with his face. It is full of a deeply etched life and character that is brought about by a life lived.
"You have a wife and two children. You rich."