In Praise of the Earth

There are those who see God most clearly in creation. Their eyes breathe in the Divine glory and know that everything good comes from the Father of Lights. Francis of Assisi saw God as the Master Artist, visible in all that He made. Francis’ first biographer, Thomas of Celano, wrote:

“Saint Francis praised the Artist in every one of his works; whatever he found in things made, he referred to their Maker. He rejoiced in all the works of the Lord’s hands, and with joyful vision saw into the reason and cause that gave them life. In beautiful things he came to know Beauty itself. To him all things were good. They cried out to him, ‘He who made us is infinitely good.” By tracing His footprints in things, Francis followed the Beloved wherever He led. He made from created things, a ladder to His throne.”

In the Genesis creation poem it is abundantly clear that humanity has been given the privilege to steward, or care for the earth. Of all people, those who trust the Scriptures should be the first to embrace a theology of ecology, restoration, healing and care.

While I have not fact-checked this next statement, it seems to makes sense to me. That, with the global shut-down brought about by the COVID19 crisis, there has resulted a new healing of the earth. There has been a dissipation of large amounts of air pollution, clearing of water pollution, and wildlife returning to their habitats. While I am not sure of the statistics around this, it makes sense that as we are not able to consume as we have been consuming, there are many positive natural results. Something we should all consider post-COVID.

For Earth Day 2020 I offer you the following blessing penned by John O’Donohue in his book, “To Bless The Space Between Us.” meditate on it and then go for a walk in the wonder of God’s creation.

“Let us bless,
The imagination of the Earth.
That knew early the patience
To harness the mind of time,
Waited for the seas to warm,
Ready to welcome the emergence
Of things dreaming of voyaging
Among the stillness of land.

And how light knew to nurse
the growth until the face of the Earth
Brightened beneath a vision of color.

When the ages of ice came
And sealed the Earth inside
An endless coma of cold,
The heart of the Earth held hope,
Storing fragments of memory,
Ready for the return of the sun.

Let us thank the Earth
That offers ground for home
And holds our feet firm
To walk in space open
To infinite galaxies.

Let us salute the silence
And certainty of mountains:
Their sublime stillness,
Their dream-filled hearts.

The wonder of a garden
Trusting the first warmth of spring
Until its black infinity of cells
Becomes charged with dream;
Then the silent, slow nurture
Of the seed’s self, coaxing it
To trust the act of death.

The humility of the Earth
That transfigures all
That has fallen
Of outlived growth.

Let us ask forgiveness of the Earth
For all our sins against her:
Four our violence and poisonings
Of her beauty.

Let us remember within us
The ancient clay,
Holding the memory of seasons,
The passion of the wind,

The fluency of water,
The warmth of fire,
The quiver-touch of the sun
And shadowed sureness of the moon.

That we may awaken,
To live to the full
The dream of the Earth
Who chose us to emerge
And incarnate its hidden night
In mind, spirit, and light.

The Size of Things

Here’s a rough edit of the video that I used in the conversation on Sunday about the “Incarnation” There are a number of good videos that have been created that try to show how small we are as a planet in comparison to all the stars we have found.

So often we do think that we are the center of the universe rather than a part of the over-all macro story of God in the universe(s). For example, take our own star the Sun. It is so big that you could place 960,000 earths inside of it! That is huge, but even our sun is a blip compared to Canis Majoris.

You could fit 7 quadrillion earths inside of the star Canis Majoris, that is so unfathomable. Louie Giglio noted that if earth was the size of a golf ball, 7 quadrillion golf balls will completely cover the entire state of Texas not just once, but up to 22 inches deep! That’s a lot of golf balls, and that puts our infinitesimally small size into focus when compared to Canis Majoris.

This also reminds me of how great, grand, awesome and infinite God is. That there are galaxies and universes that we have not even created the technology to discover yet. But they exist solely because of God’s pleasure. The stars are His,  the worlds are His. Everything we see belongs to Him and was created by Christ.

That is why the Incarnation amazes me. The Incarnation means that God came to our world. But not only that He came as a god on a visit, but incarnation tells us that He “enfleshed” Himself with humanity. Yes He came, but He also be-came one with us. The immortal became mortal so that the mortal could taste immortality  God became human so that humanity could experience God’s indwelling grace.

I’m still amazed that bedraggled and  befuddled humans have received so great a love from our God who is untamable  unfathomable, all-powerful, and all-knowing. Even though He knows us so well, He still chooses to love us, forgive us and empower us to be His hands and feet on this little ol’ planet. Because of that great love, I want to be a planet changer that brings about a God-reality everywhere I go.

Look It Over


I read the following reflection this morning by Wendell Berry. Wendell has authored fifty books of poetry, fiction, and essays. This piece is from his first volume of poems call Leavings. I read it a few times through, for some unearthed reason it resonated and reminded me of the gifts God gives us each day…with no cost.


Look It Over

I leave behind even
my walking stick. My knife
is in my pocket, but that
I have forgot. I bring
no car, no cell phone,
no computer, no camera,
no CD player, no fax, no
TV, not even a book. I go
into the woods. I sit on
a log provided at no cost.
It is the earth I’ve come to,
the earth itself, sadly
abused by the stupidity
only humans are capable of
but, as ever, itself. Free.

A bargain! Get it while it lasts.