I was just thinking…

Published on Oct 5th, 2017 by wpd-office | 0


The statistics are in.  There are now more people living in cities than people living in rural areas, parks, by rivers and lakes, and generally in remote, natural settings.  And when we people do try to go to secluded areas for rest and relaxation, we may well find ourselves in little cities of campers and tents and the like!  When have you lately just been at a place where you were totally alone?  When have you sat on a rock by the seashore or walked around a wheat field or fished from the bank of a stream or climbed a mountain to gaze at the panorama below or appreciated the shade of a tree or patted a flower into the ground to grow or simply let the wind caress your face?  When has a robin or a redbird crossed your path with a streak of beauty or a dog or cat nuzzled up against you?  When has a silent hawk looked steadily at you from a fencepost or winged its way across the sky, skimming the cream of the air as it goes?

One of the last Christian Century magazines had an article that arrested my attention.  Because we live so completely surrounded by cities and people, we have been divorced from the natural world.  And when we even think about the natural world, it is to think that we control it.  Even when floods come and hurricanes blow and tornadoes rip across the landscape and deserts blow haboobs of dust, somehow we forget that we are not in control.  We mine the minerals.  We fertilize the fields.  We plant the seeds.  We build the dams and the roads.  We mow the lawns.  We create the parks and recreation areas.  We build zoos.  We frack for reserves of oil.  We dig the copper pits.  We build the machines that gouge the earth.  We put up satellites that show us the storms and the winds.  And we think all of that is ours to control the earth.  And we forget.  We forget.

What we forget is that we and nature are one.  In our cities, we forget that God-made trumps man-made.  The creation of God is not just us, it is the rivers and mountains, the lakes and streams, the storms, the birds, all the animals, the gardens, the fields, the forests, the skies, the stars, the sun and the moon.   All of these things are, as St. Francis so beautifully noted, our brothers and sisters.  They and we ARE the creation, the handiwork of our Lord.  We were created, not for one to control the other, but for us to appreciate each other, to lovingly care for each other, to see to it that each of us, humans and nature, are placed into the cycle of life and use that will bring fulfillment to all the earth!  When God gave us dominion, that was because, as the brains of the outfit, we could figure out how to bring this fulfillment!

So dear brothers and sisters, go out, get out, and revel in all of creation!  Let it be your family, your kinfolk!  Let it speak to you of the Creator.  Let it whisper secrets to you that you would not otherwise know. Let it soothe the aches of your longings.  Let it heal the sorrows of your hearts.  Let it confide in you that joy is still possible.   Let it tell you that Love will win.  Let it reassure you that you, too, have a place in this universe. Let it trumpet to you that, when you die, you and it will truly become part and parcel of one another.  And let it hold you in the certainty that, no matter what, our God will stand forever, world without end, AMEN.

Grace and peace to you all,
Sonja Griffith, District Executive Minister

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