How blessed the lowly, earth shall be theirs.
Could we be responsible for anything and everyone we touch?
At this moment,
no matter where you find yourself,
surely you are touching something manufactured.
Most likely you are handling plastic,
wreathed as we are
in all things synthetic.
Cast your eyes on your surroundings;
the multitude of objects, surfaces, clothes, and containers,
crafted in countries far distant, by fingers unseen.
So many miraculous manipulations of oil,
Earth’s ancestral legacy,
made solid and see-through; ubiquitous and nearly everlasting.
Replacing wood and stone, leather and bone,
clay, glass, and steel,
the blessing of petrochemical polymers has now become a blight.
Unless we swiftly and radically redirect
this working, wanting, wasting spree,
three decades more, and plastic trash will outweigh all the fish in the sea.
The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. Pope Francis
And whatsoever we do
unto to God’s good garden
we do unto to the cherished children and humble creatures.
This is disaster of our own doing,
billions of lives— without exception or exemption—
trapped in spirals of consuming and discarding.
How can goods be good for us
if they are not good for all;
for plants, plankton, people; for all creatures great and small?
And how are we to disentangle
practiced patterns and appetites
from the ruination of Creation; throwing life and lives away?
They have made my land a desolation;
desolate, it mourns to me.
The whole land is made desolate,
but no one lays it to heart.
Perhaps, like all things “soiled”,
the transformation imperceptibly it starts,
like sap that in Springtime rises with the warming wind.
We become aware, we reach out to whatever
crosses our palms or graces our eyes— coffee-cups,
computer keys, handshakes, buds, branches and sacred sunlit leaves.
Touched thus by life, God-made and human-shaped,
we can wonder at Creation,
contemplate components, count the costs and casualties of everything.
We might also try to re-trace the stories
of the stuff that stuffs our days
back to each beginning; its very sacred Source.
The little yellow flowers that nobody notices on the edge of that road are saints looking up into the face of God. Thomas Merton
Whether wood or rock, paper, plastic, or person,
are we not all, in some way responsible,
for whatever, whomsoever we touch?
To the trio of “reduce, reuse, recycle”
might we also add reflect and return;
a grateful heart to the Source of All, and all those in between?
By regularly re-Sourcing our lives,
we might be healed enough of hurting and hoarding,
to graciously release the good that is only loan to us.
They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will fill with knowledge of the Holy ONE
as waters cover the sea.
How will you retrace the blessings and burdens that grace your day ?
Find me on Facebook and Instagram: @InTheStormStill
Coming in November 2019, A New Book by Joe Grant