It is 2009, I am taking college course pre-requisites while I wait for the nursing transition program to start in the fall.
I am sitting in a sociology class listening to my professor tell a story about pollution and our environment. We all currently lived in an area where the locals jokingly called the nearby river, “Chemical Valley.” This was due to the multitude of plants that lined the large river and their billowing smoke stacks.
Yet it wasn’t what dotted the rivers edge that had my professor in an uproar, but it was what was beneath it’s murky water. He belonged to the local diving club, which dived as a hobby, exploring river and lake wreckages.
Him and a friend were diving in the river. Near the bottom were large barrels with green ooze expelling out of them. His curious friend waved his hand through the neon green dispelling fluid. As he did, they watched with horror as his friend’s glove disintegrated off of his hand.
I still shiver as I reflect on this story.
Have you ever seen the picture of the many deceased whales floating around the internet? The one where they cut it open only to find a stomach full of garbage? Still a No?How about this; “A whale that washed ashore in a coastal Philippines province was revealed to have 88 pounds of plastic trash inside its body…” (source: time.com)
This wasn’t a first occurrence and it won’t be the last, unfortunately.
Even risk for certain types of cancers have been correlated with “environmental factors.”
Our role as Christians…
”Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26
God gave us dominion over his creation as in complete power over nature.
Are we honoring our God given role? Are we caring for the natural world the way God would expect us too ?
I watch my children play an imaginative make believe game. We are on one of the many nature walks we take each week. They’re taking turns dubbing one another royal terms. “Princess… Lady of the White Trillium… and Prince….Lord of the Jack in the Pulpit.”
I’ve witnessed them experience so much within these still quiet hours of outside time. Following behind butterflies mesmerized by its coloring, watching in awe as a large beaver presents himself on the rivers edge. Standing as still as a quiet mouse just to watch a doe and her white spotted fawn stop to graze in front of us.
(In the way back you can see the mother doe and her baby.)
Appreciating the slow trickle of a waterfall while hiking in Hocking Hills Ohio.
(The tender observation of a grasshopper.)
Our children should intimately know nature.
They should build a relationship and close connection to all God’s creation so much so that they come to deeply value it. This intimacy will plant a seed of love for nature thereby revealing to them their sovereignty over it. Once our children intimately know nature they will honor, revere, and take care of it.