in the beginning, God created the world, and God said it was good
and it is good. i mean really good!
from the tiniest grain of sand on a beach in the bahamas
to that massive hulk of a rock that we call everest,
from the smallest amoeba to the largest leviathan that lurks in the depths of the sea—
“All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all.
Each little flower that opens, Each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings!”
God made this world in such a way that everything is connected, so when a butterfly flaps her wings in south africa, it affects the hurricanes off the shores of florida
i give praise to this God who caused the sun to shine on that day in september in such a way that caused highlights to show in the locks of my mother’s hair, and i give praise to this God who caused the breeze to blow in such a way as to have those high-lit locks catch my father’s tender blues which were in turn lit up by that same sunshine making my mother’s heart go pitter-pat…. which all led to the birth of me.*
“for God so loved the world—in Greek, the kosmos, all that is—that he gave his only begotten son…”
and we who love God, should love God and the things that God loves
which is everything… not just me, not just you, not just me and you, not just Christians, not just humans, not just primates, not just mammals, not just animals, not just living things, but the world!
all of this blessed terra firma and all that dwells, sits, and bubbles within it!
but if we love God, we sure have a funny way of showing it
we strip-mine mountainsides, pump pollution into the air, and fill the water with sewage
a river feeding a great lake has caught fire, statues and gargoyles in europe have eroded from acid rain; thousands of acres in several countries have been rendered unfarmable due to the meltdown in cherynobl; shrimp in the gulf of mexico are being born without eyes and fish are born with tumors due to the chemical dispersants we allowed to be pumped into the sea in a bassackward attempt to repress and deny the existence of the 4.9 million gallons of oil that our unregulated congress allowed the unregulated oil industry to leak as an “acceptable part of doing business,”
and detectable levels of fukashima’s “who-builds-a-nuclear-power-plant-on-a-known-fault-line?” radiation fill the leaves in the kelp beds off of our californian coast
in 1970 funky subversive tempters sang.
air pollution, revolution, gun control, sound of soul shootin’ rockets to the moon kids growin’ up too soon Politicians say more taxes will solve everything; and the band played on; so round ‘n’ round ‘n’ round we go where the world’s headed, nobody knows Just a ball of confusion, oh yea, that’s what the world is today hey hey!
yet their song wasn’t in vain.
in that same year, our nation’s first “earth day” was held, consciousnesses were raised, politics were influenced, and the environmental protection agency was formed just before that year came to a close
goodness happened… blessings flowed
inner city kids did better on tests because fewer of them were eating lead paint chips as they played with their toys as toddlers, people could once again swim in the lakes, our gas became unleaded, and our cars get (slightly, but still unacceptably) better fuel mileage, freon was banned as a refrigerant; chloro-flourocarbons are no longer propelling our hairspray, our oven-spray, and our colorful tell it to the man, art of the people paint-on-traincar-and-highway-underpass-applying devices that taggers use to express themselves, and we can more easily breathe the air
and yet, bureaucratic erosion occurred, political entropy ensued
the agency that’s supposed to protect the earth was diluted and rendered impotent, bribes, payoffs, and beholdenness flooded the sacred halls of congress and newly supreme court-sanctioned “corporate persons” can do whatever they want, whenever they want, wherever they want
theocratic school boards have our kids learning a twisted form of science…a science where evolution, pollution, and the GMO and human-aggravated-global-warming-awareness-revolution are likened to unicorns, gnomes, and fairy tales
– discounted as the unfounded fanatical conspiracy theories of over-excited fools on the fringe.
but behind the wizard’s curtain, the powers that be are scrambling like a frantic ant farm that’s been shaken by a frickin’ fracking-triggered earthquake
while, myopic captains of industry drool with glee as shipping lanes are being formed in the formerly ice-solid arctic polar caps,
insurance companies are scrambling for how to cover their ass-ets because of the impending destruction to coastal properties due to the rising sea waters in new york, d.c, l.a., and miami
and pentagonal generals are preparing for the inevitable wars that will occur as more and more people — 7 billion and ticking — tic tock tick tock … fight over fewer and fewer natural resources, fertile places to live, and clean water to drink
a resurrected imaginary seuss-creature prophetically says what we need to hear:
“unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. it’s not.”
and yet we self-acclaimed God-lovers, who claim to love what God loves,
find ourselves divided into rivaling jesus camps with differing apocalyptic wet dreams of “a new heaven and a new earth!”
with one camp expecting jesus to return soon … and if that’s going to happen, “there’s no point in taking care of things” —
another camp also believes that jesus is going to come back soon, and if that’s going to happen, we’d better get our collective manure together and be prepared to show him that we’ve been engaged in good stewardship of this big blue mothership
and then there’s those who don’t think that Jesus is going to come back again, or rather, that he does so everyday – believing that Jesus returns each time that we love, each time that we forgive, that we reconcile, that we seek justice, and take care of this wet and fertile third rock from the sun
let us be like that first protestant who said,
“even if I knew that the world were going to end tomorrow, i would still plant my apple trees today”
let us grow up to realize that God loves us, that we are God’s, that I am you, and you are me, and we are the walrus – and the walrus is God.
dismiss me as nut, write me off as a freak,
but know that I love you
and that means you love you,
and that means you love life,
you love the earth,
this firma meant to love.
xx – Roger
Rev. Roger Wolsey is an ordained United Methodist pastor who directs the Wesley Foundation at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is author of Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity