Field Gleaning and Practicing Resurrection

The bounty!

By Anthony Calzia *

My name is Anthony. I am a second year Duke Divinity School student and a summer intern with the Society of St. Andrew. While I have done many things in the last month, the activity I have most enjoyed is field gleaning. This post is a reflection on field gleaning in light of a line from one of my favorite poems, namely the last line of Wendell Berry’s poem, “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.”

Manifesto calls for radical ways of resistance to patterns of thinking and life practices that are harmful to nature, communities, and the self. The last line reads, “Practice resurrection.” The call to practice resurrection is especially relevant when thinking about field gleaning. After the harvest, produce that has not been harvested is usually left on the field and turned over back into the soil. Most of this produce is edible. Through gleaning, food that is as good as dead is given new life and purpose as it goes to people suffering from food insecurity in local communities. In a very real sense, this act of gleaning is a way for everyone to participate in resurrection right now. For those who believe in the future resurrection of creation, including the physical human body, rescuing food for hungry humans is a picture practice of resurrection, which looks forward to the day when no one will hunger, but God will satisfy all those who hunger.

* Anthony Calzia is an intern with Society of St. Andrew in Durham, North Carolina.

Read the entirety of Wendell Berry’s Manifesto.