3 Revelations with the Earth
In the second half of my life, I am falling in love with the Earth. And, as I become close to this incredible planet, in which I move and have my being, I am painfully aware of her cry. For the Earth, I wrote Revelation at the Labyrinth. For the Earth, I’m working to express my voice. For the Earth, and for God – her Creator, I write.
How did this happen? Let me tell you a little about my journey. Of course, like most people, I’ve always enjoyed nature. I love to go hiking in the woods, and visit national parks. For years, I’ve maintained a vegetable garden and flower gardens. I find myself refreshed and restored when I spend time outdoors. But, I think I became enamored with the Earth when I slowed down and began a daily meditation practice.
The benefits of the discipline of mediation affects so many aspects of my life. I find myself dwelling more in the present, more connected with the Spirit of God, more able to connect with the flow of life, which in turn awakens me to the miraculous nature of all life and the dance of creation in which we all participate. As I breathe into the sacred Now, I sense God’s grace infusing me and all of creation with such incredible joy.
As a Christian, I know I am called to be a steward of creation. The Psalmists in our scripture call me to celebrate creation and to see it as a window to view God. And recently, I’m discovering so much more.
Our scientists and archaeologists have a new creation story these days. They suggest a scenario which dumbfounds me, not destroying my faith, but building within me more and more awe for our amazing Creator. The creation of all, the big bang, scientists now believe, happened 13.7 billion years ago. Wow. Before that, nothing. After that, everything.
I find the story of the universe so awe-inspiring. I find myself completely awestruck with the glory of God that evolved us into existence after the Earth spun out of our star, the Sun, over 4.7 billion years. Can you imagine the patience of God?
But then, as I consider what we humans are doing after God’s great work? How can we possibly not take great care of this miraculous planet? How could we destroy the very environment on which we depend for life?
In the past 150 years, since the industrial revolution, we humans have started to seriously disturb the Earth’s ecosystem. The biologists tell us that we are in the midst of a mass extinction event. Everyone one of the life systems of the Earth is affected. The last time the Earth suffered such a blow was when an asteroid hit the Earth, putting an end to the dinosaurs. But now, the problem is us. Our industrial pollution, deforestation and the release of fossil fuels into the atmosphere are creating catastrophic results.
I’m encouraged that the people of the world are waking up. Millions are speaking out about this. Last year, the whole world came together to address climate change in Paris and develop a plan. The writing is on the wall, and it’s time to act before it’s too late. Most countries are rounding the wagons. But I am terrified that I live in a country that is so smart and so good in so many ways, and yet now seems to be slow to act. Some days it appears to me that we are thumbing our noses at God and the future of life within God’s creation.
Like many, I am urgently trying to figure out what can we do about this problem. I must admit, when I first started to awaken myself, I didn’t think there was much I could do. But then we made prayer bracelets in an Eco Spirituality class I took. Our teacher told us to pray each day for the Earth and for how we might be called to act. I began to realize there is so much I can do. Once again, I realized that prayer changes me.
I began to focus my contemplative spirituality on the listening to the Earth. I led experiences on praying with the Earth. I decided to write a book with the Earth theme, which led to Revelation at the Labyrinth.
During this time, my husband attended Climate Reality training and listened to the advice of one of the first climate scientists to sound the alarm, James Hansen. He recommended if you want to do something about climate change, join Citizen’s Climate Lobby. Citizen’s Climate Lobby is a grassroots organization, working for ten years now to build bipartisan political will to address climate change. My husband, Steve, joined and then started a group in Springfield, Ohio and I joined him in this effort. Because of the creative, loving and undying efforts of the over 10,000 members of this group there is now a growing bipartisan climate caucus in the House of Representatives with 30 Republicans and 30 Democrats (as of 10/6/17) striving to find solutions to climate issues.
One of the groups calling for us to awaken is the Pachamama Alliance. The Anchuar people of Ecuador lived in the rain forest until multinational corporations threatened their way of life. They have lifted up an ancient Amazon prophecy that speaks of human societies splitting into two paths –the Eagle (mind/industrial/masculine) and the Condor (heart/intuition/feminine). Now Eagle and Condor must learn to fly together. If you listen carefully to Jesus, much of his teaching includes the heart and intuition. I included this prophecy in my book as well, because I think it’s a helpful way of thinking about our task ahead.
So, there is so much more I could write about this, and I will. But I just want you to know that Revelation at the Labyrinth is a labor of love I wrote for God and for the Earth, hoping that it might add to cacophony of voices calling for a great awakening of the people of Earth, to make changes to stop our destruction of our miraculous planet. I hope it will touch you and other readers and that it will spur more actions on its behalf. I pray for hope for us all and that we will to work to build a better future together.