There was a small acre of wetland that used to exist outside my apartment until this week. It was where the water would collect when the creek would overrun its banks. There were grasses and pools of water and all sorts of life. It was teeming at night with communities of frogs and crickets and by day a playground for birds of all colors and voices. But I wake up this morning and am shocked to see that it is no more.
I left a week ago to go on silent retreat in a small mountain hideaway full of trees and birds, waterfalls and boulders. A veritable playground for God’s children to frolic with God’s spirit. It was so much easier to hear God’s voice there and see the beauty of Life that He created all around me. And then to come back and see, even in just one small example of an acre, our destruction of His creation. How we seemingly without care or thought bulldozed the vibrant home of our neighbors.
I pray for the animals and birds who have lost their home, their habitat, and their food source. I pray for the battle we are waging against them. The ways we are destroying their food chain, their supply chain.
The birds and small mammals who nested there, where do they go now? We’ve already pushed them to their limit. Are they even alive anymore? The insects that were born that cleared and ate unwanted organisms and then became food for the amphibians and birds; who then became food for larger birds of prey, where are they? The places of rest, replenishment and play along this highway of a flight that runs along the creek are gone. The life forms under the soil and water who gave life to other beings and performed vital duties that we may never understand because they were a part of God’s plan…gone.
Are the birds, the frogs, the crickets crying out in mourning today for the destruction of their village? Do we not think of their lives…that God also created? Lives that are part of an integral plan of a whole.
What about the grasses and plants of this wetland? Were they just worthless — now flattened and bulldozed over?
Who gave us the authority to destroy? To continue to disrupt and create, not more creation, but more destruction? Does all this life not matter? The earth just experienced a slight break from us recently and we saw many examples of how it flourished. How it expanded in its rejoicing.
This is just one acre of precious life that was wiped out. One acre of death and destruction but for what? For more? And no, I’m not exaggerating, say that to the mother frog who lost her child, the bird who struggles for food.
We are so addicted to more. More square feet, more things, more need. It’s a need that is obviously never fulfilled. Why? Because what we really need we cannot build or earn. What we really need is to have the void inside filled with only more of God.
God’s love, God’s presence, God’s wisdom, God’s peace.
We’ve gotten so disconnected, in our superiority, from God’s creation that we are hardly able to truly know God. God’s creation is God’s first Bible. The way we can most decidedly be with and walk with God. It is God’s very own cathedral He made for us to worship Him in and sit with Him and find revelation of Him. I don’t believe He made us, created us, to ravage it trying to fulfill our own unending need. We were to walk with Him in His garden.
We speak these days of the very real need to make sure we can care for ourselves in this land and make sure we can be self-sufficient in meeting the needs of those who live here. Yet how can we truly understand this when we overrun and destroy the supply chain that fulfills the needs and provides life for our cohabiters of our community right outside our front door?
I don’t know how we are to find the balance anymore that will care for all of our needs. Please join me in praying for all life. For God’s wisdom of how to care for and create as a part of God’s whole creation.
This way of today need not be. Please, Holy Spirit, come and give us wisdom, settle it upon us, of how to live as a part of all creation. Amen.