Two things that are true about me: I feel my calmest when I am near a body of water or looking out at mountains or flower covered canyons; and I enjoy words. I recall a time when I lived in Indiana, that I spent hours looking for some moving water. I eventually found myself in the middle of a cemetery by a small lake with my journal and pen. Good times!
While I am grateful for the ability to read, comprehend and half-way carry a tune; I’ve come to enjoy writing more than reading and speaking more than singing. In fact, much of what I read is later turned into something written. When given an opportunity to lead worship, I need to explain the importance of a song or how the listener could apply the lyrics to their life. Why? Because words heal.
I am aware of how important it is to choose words wisley, and that tone, inflection, and volume are factors that must be considered in a conversation. I’ve learned to quickly tell when others are more interested in their voice and have little interest in what I may add. I then become slightly amused when that person realizes they have been in more of a monologue than a fruitful dialog. I learned the hard way how important it is to not belabor a point so an explanation doesn’t feel more like an attack.
So, on this second pandemic impacted Earth Day, I wonder what changes I… we… can make to create an environment that is healthy, welcoming, and healing? Would it be as simple as offering kind words muffled by a face covering? Would this come more in the gesture of lovingly, rather than begrudgingly, wearing that face covering? Or maybe it would look like taking walks with loved ones in silence to better hear the essence of the other’s presence.
Words and Nature…
It was God’s words that started it all. In fact, all that He created still praises and sings of His glory… Well, that’s what my Bible tells me anyway. My Bible also says that we… humans… are the part of His masterpiece that has authority (meaning responsibility) regarding His other created works. What does it look like to be responsible for Earth?
I have to wonder how healthy, welcoming, and healing it would be if we celebrated each other as much as we criticized and condemned each other? What would Earth be like if we fully understood the impact of white supremacy and weight of abolition? Am I being too presumptuous in thinking that how we treat one another is somehow connected to how we treat the environment in which we all live? Am I?
My love for words and nature have led to healing times of solitude and revelation. Unfortunately, for too many, the past year has resulted in bone crushing isolation. And that can be a dangerous place for those lacking the emotional support they need. Yet, I am grateful for the many times nature has provided me an inexpensive retreat from my daily doings and periodic nothings. Nature has been faithful to help me view things from a different perspective… to see what’s really essential.