I love that Earth Week is right after Holy Week this year. Holy Week walks us through God’s full-spectrum of emotion for humanity. Earth Week reminds us of God’s ingenuity and complexity displayed throughout all of creation. Personally, I believe more people are moved to consider God because of the awe-inspiring, breath-taking beauty of nature than through any well-reasoned intellectual discussion. Besides, most people are visual learners anyway.
I was in 8th grade when Earth Day was established. It’s always been easy to remember because my sister’s birthday is also on April 22. Between how we were raised and Girl Scouts, I was already conservation-oriented. We were taught to leave an area cleaner than we found it, pick up after yourself, and respect nature and wildlife. Not only did it seem reasonable, it was the right thing to do. Creation or nature is a common resource shared by a common humanity. The Golden Rule (treat others the way you want to be treated) applies to all of life.
We were taught that nature was a renewable, but limited resource. Its ability to renew itself was limited or restricted by humanity’s excessive and consistent disregard or indifference. Maybe that’s why I am utterly flabbergasted that there really are people who don’t believe humanity is responsible for the ills wrecked on creation. I especially am appalled that so many who profess to be devout Christians deny climate change, of which humans are mostly responsible. Greenhouse gasses impact droughts and flooding which then impacts health and economics. Not only is the beauty of God’s creation being desecrated, but God’s people are also being violated.
Newton’s third law of motion (even the devout don’t deny basic physics) is that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If we build pipelines, drive fossil-fueled vehicles, heat with coal, pave over forests, spray chemicals we must be prepared for an equal and opposite reaction. Let’s just hope we come to our senses before the reaction is any more life-threatening.
Holy Week and Easter remind us of what God has done for us. [Holy] Earth Week reminds us of what we are responsible for to God. We bear God’s image. God’s creation needs to be a priority.
Photo: Janet Peterson (my sister). Double rainbow off Maui.