A Lenten reflection on global warming is not easy. If I don’t hold onto the hope that I have for a future reconciliation, if I don’t constantly believe that small choices I make might have a difference over all, I would be crushed by the weight of that which troubles the earth.
I have watched carefully the mountains across the river this year. Normally at this time, there would be a nice blanket of white over the peaks, and it would stick around until late may or early June. This year, there have been perhaps 10 days total of a dusting of white on those peaks.
In addition to that, the foothills gathered around the base of Mt. Hood like so many chicks being gathered to a mother hen, they have no coverings. The look of soft white down upon their shoulders is missing this year. Only Mt. Hood herself rises white and sublime above the horizon pointing to Heaven with her crags. occasionally hidden in the clouds, or ringed with wispy white wreaths of cloud, she sleeps, and her chicks stand cold and forgotten, with no snow to blanket them.
Dare we blame global warming? It would be like us, to simply declare that as the scapegoat, taking no responsibility for the weather at all. After all, who are we to dictate to the skies? But think about that for a moment. Perhaps we do dictate to the skies…the avarice of human kind that causing this planet’s cosmic cycles to w out of wack…We, who are stewards of this wondrous creation, dare we to say anything but that we have fallen short of the glory of God and of the divine command to tend the garden? All of Creation groans as it waits for its redemption…and we groan also as we wait for the Ancient of Days to come and fill our aching, binding up all that is broken and setting rights to that which has become unbalanced.
Yet we dare not wait with our hands tied. We dare not wait as if we are still the clay upon which the Potter molds intention, passive in our lumpy existence. We have been imbued with the Breath of Life, and that Breath is intelligence, that Breath is creativity, that Breath is responsibility for the good of all.
Friends, you who live so far off from the origins that we once knew; a life lived close to the land and in harmony with the balance of life and death…we, who once walked the land and felt the movement of the seasons as the life force of this, God’s created and beloved earth, we who once walked on soft feet through moss and ferns, breathing a gentle equilibrium of our own breath to the plants who breathed back to us that which sustained us–we who now drive hard rubber over concrete and asphalt, breathing out more poisons than the earth can breath in. Whose fault is it that the seasons have shifted? The weather grown erratic? We who tear down the mountains and leave black and brown holes in their place. We who spiderweb countless tracks of broken glass and gravel across miles of earth’s surface and send tons of heat reflective gases into the atmosphere.
We, who must make daily choices about our own life path and how it intersects with the life of the planet we call home.
Oh God, I am a man of unclean lips! I believe, forgive my unbelief! Teach me thy ways, O Lord, and lead me in the life everlasting!