Faith in Action: Caring for the Environment

Everyone wants to bask
in the glory of my sunrise
and dip their toes
in my sparkling waters,
but who will travel
to my forgotten shores?
Who will witness the darkness so haphazardly strewn
like a shroud over my life-giving beauty?
Who will stop the poison
from seeping into the cracks of my soil?
Who will care enough
to uncover who I really am
beneath the ugliness of all
that has been done?

Under the trash and debris,
there is a hidden sunrise like a song –
waiting to be released.
It will rise up
to the heavens and point
to the glory of my Creator.

It can only be heard by those
who care enough
to do this sacred work.

I just got back from leading a spring break service trip with college students through Living Lands & Waters. With music, boats, rubber boots and great spirit, we were taken to horribly polluted shores of Lake McKlellen in Memphis, Tennessee, which is a feeder lake into the Mississippi River, which leads into the ocean.

Even though we were the third week of alt spring breakers doing cleanup work, along with the fulltime crew – the amount of trash was STAGGERING. I joked with my husband it was like the Dagobah System from hell.

With comradery, humor, youthful energy and a rockin dj boat to keep our spirits up, we took boats to gnarly shores and picked up as much as we could over the course of four days – it wasn’t enough. We left our work undone with a renewed conscience for care of the creation.

I took my concerns about the environment into prayer and felt guided to Isiah 54:10

Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

I felt the Lord’s consolation in my heart: I am the King of these troubled waters. Be not afraid. Be not disturbed. Keep heart. Remember, I said “in this world you will have trouble.” When the pollution disturbs your peace, choose to focus on me – pure, undefiled, pristine and present always. Look up in awe and wonder at the source and summit of your life. I am the alpha and the omega, the purpose and the point of this work. I am, and I always will be. This pollution has no bearing in light of eternity. What looks so dark right now is just another invitation to focus on me and my unchanging love. Was I defiled by what happened to me on Calvary? No, I was given an opportunity to rise. I am the way the truth and the light for all of creation. I am the King of these troubled waters. I am radiant purity. I am the lifetime goal of all humanity. I am the cleaning crew. I am drawing you and your loved ones to myself, all is well.

Then I was guided to Isiaah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

The amount of peace that comes through prayer is remarkable! It helped me focus back on remarkable earth, who dazzles us with all the variances of her beautiful landscape and nourishes us all even while we so recklessly pollute, degrade and neglect caring for her. Truly, she is a gift and points to the glory of God more than anything I can imagine in spite of it all. I think the joyful spirit of the living lands crew points to the glory of God as well and am grateful for my experience of service with them, even though the work of healing earth is far beyond the scope of we could accomplish in a week.

How have you felt the Lord’s presence in service to the environment? Comment below, and I will be delighted to keep you in my prayers.

Lord, thank you for being the “King of these troubled waters.” The world can seem so dark and polluted sometimes. The problems, insurmountable. But You, truly, are undefiled light and present with us always – strengthening, consoling and loving us every step of the way. As we work to bless and heal the earth, please bless and heal us. Visit our “forbidden shores” to heal us in the ways we too have been polluted by the careless disregard of others for our well being. Remove our doubts and fears. Heal our wounds. Give us the grace to truly believe in the infinite healing power of Your love. Draw us into Your sacred circle of communion that we may be channels of grace in the world. Uncover the deep song in our hearts, that we may sing praises to Your glory in the land of the living. In Jesus name, we pray.

written by Nicky Gant for 4/5/2022

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