When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them. . . . O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Ps. 8: 3, 4, 9)
When we relate to the trees, the rivers, the mountains, the fields, and the oceans as objects that we can use according to our real or fabricated needs, nature is opaque and does not reveal to us its true being. When a tree is nothing but a potential chair, it ceases to tell us much about growth; when a river is only a dumping place for industrial wastes, it can no longer speak to us about movement; and when a flower is nothing more than a model for a plastic decoration, it has little to say about the simple beauty of life. Our difficult and now urgent task is to realize that nature is not a possession to be conquered but a gift to be received with respect and gratitude.
Nature desires for us to discern the great story of God’s love to which it points. When we think of the oceans and mountains, forests and deserts, trees, plants and animals, the sun, the moon, the stars, and all the galaxies as God’s creation, waiting eagerly for their renewal (Rom. 8: 20– 21), we can only stand in awe of God’s majesty and all-embracing plan of redemption.
It is not just we human beings who wait for our salvation in the midst of our suffering : all creation groans and moans with us, longing to reach its full freedom.
In this way, we are indeed brothers and sisters not only of all other men and women in the world but also of all that surrounds us. Yes, we have to love and respect the fields full of wheat, the snowcapped mountains, the roaring seas, the wild and tame animals, the huge redwoods, and the little daisies. Everything in creation belongs, with us, to the large family of God. How expansive is the vision of what God is doing in my life and yours when we can embrace the full reality that our final calling and homecoming involves not just ourselves and our fellow human beings but all of creation.
The thoughts expressed in this post were inspired from the works of Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen in regards to how we can experience God in nature. #Earth
Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life