forgotten sheaves

forgotten sheaves

forgotten sheaves/ helen keller quotation

When I was a little girl of eleven years, I lived in a rental house in Bryan, Texas with my three siblings, my wonderful stay-at-home mother and our hardworking M.D. (which stands, of course, for My Dad). Though we were enjoying homeschooling, getting involved in a new church and playing in our backyard that passers-by apparently mistook for a park (judging by their willingness to stroll about in it), God had an unexpected plan for us. Quite abruptly, my parents found themselves adopting four little kids from Haiti and then, even more unexpectedly, running an orphanage of around one hundred children.

The story is quite amazing, really, but I want to tell you about a specific subplot right now. How Mrs. Moses came to know about my family, we aren’t sure, or at least we don’t remember now. Many-a-mile away in Indiana, she must have seen part of our story on the news, but she wrote a letter to my mother which had a great impact on her. Enclosed in the letter was a check for a fairly modest amount of money. Mrs. Moses heard about what we were doing and wanted to be a part.

Do you know what’s extraordinary about what Mrs. Moses did? She did it again the next month. And the next. In my estimation, she did it for about 120 months, including this one. 

Through all of the adoptions (five now) and the adventures in Haiti and Latvia, through moving to a new home and watching three kids move out of the house, through my sister’s marriage and many other ups and downs, Mrs. Moses has faithfully sent us a letter and check for the same amount every month in support of our family. Mrs. Moses has gone through quite a lot herself in the past ten years. She has gone through struggles with her kids and grandkids, released a couple of albums with the folk band she performs with and, sadly, said goodbye to her husband of many years who is now with the Lord.

Mrs. Moses is far from rich. She does not have millions to spare. But she has some. And she uses that little leftover bit to support something she believes in. Most of all, she is faithful. By now she has supplied my family with thousands of dollars.

Mrs. Moses immediately came to mind when I read Deuteronomy 24:19 this week:

“When you’re harvesting your field, if you forget a sheaf, don’t go back out into the field to get it. Let the foreigners, orphans, and widows take it. If you do this, the Eternal your God will bless everything you do.”

When this passage was written, way back in the Old Testament, foreigners, orphans and widows were the most vulnerable, destitute members of society. The same is mostly true today. Though we may not actually see these folks walking behind us in our fields, they are there. Maybe you don’t even have crops, but what are the “forgotten sheaves” of the modern first world?

Perhaps it’s the bit of money left over after the end of the month. The bonus you weren’t expecting. The gift card you’ve had sitting in your purse for a year.

Perhaps it’s last year’s coat? Or the spare room you have boxes stacked in? The money you made off of reselling books? The change in your desk drawer?

It could be an extra serving of potato soup for the widower next door, the afternoon you could spend babysitting for free or the little bit of effort it takes to mow someone’s lawn while they’re in the hospital.

Mrs. Moses drops a sheaf for my family every month and forgets about it. She doesn’t go back and gather up every grain for her own storehouse, and because of this, we feel like our storehouse is overflowing. No, we don’t survive off of what she sends, but we are greatly blessed by it. 

Now I’d love to hear from you! Have you ever been hugely blessed by a small “forgotten sheaf”? What other ideas do you have for setting aside a little or a lot? 


  1. Everly, what a tremendously beautiful story, adn I’m so glad it’s a true-told one! 😉 My M.D. loves this passage and the biblical principle here of leaving the sheaf of wheat…many times my own family has been blessed by God’s great mercy and graciousness to us in our needs as well, but so often it’s an easy thing to forget what God can do with that leftover bit and what He can do even with just a little. Not that that is an excuse….we shouldn’t hold back but give graciously as much as we’re able to! 🙂 So I thank you for your sweet reflections and testimony, and the encouragement you’ve given me – I needed that this Thanksgiving week, especially.


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