I want my kids to see morality as following Jesus’s example and not just acting as perfectly as possible. I want my kids to embrace the idea of “good trouble” and understand that doing the right thing isn’t always considered the socially appropriate thing. I don’t want them to believe that sacrificing for saying they are followers of Jesus is enough; I want them to be willing to sacrifice for being like Jesus. I want them to love mercy and walk humbly.
I like order. I like consistency. I like to have an idea of what is coming around the next bend. COVID-19 has taken away that control from a lot of us.
I look at the United States today. I look at the world my children are growing up in and I ask myself which side of history I want to be on. Our country and our world have been through difficult times. The more history I study, the more I see the patterns and cycles and the hope at the end of each tunnel. But I also recognize the importance of being on the right side of history as it is happening. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran pastor who was executed after his involvement in a failed assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler, stated “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” It is a weighty truth that challenges me every time I consider the many issues facing us today.
Perhaps if we refuse to accept the idea that people and issues are more complicated than “either/or,” we will be willing to challenge our friends, family, neighbors, and politicians to stop making it about us vs. them and just make it about all of us.
There are so many other ways that we can practice creation care. It doesn’t matter how you start; it just matters that you do something. Taking small steps, we can all start to care for the only home that God has given us, at least this side of heaven. If we all do a little, it can add up to a whole lot.
So what if Christians changed their lens from environmentalism to creation care? What if we started focusing on taking care of our planet as a demonstration of our love for the One who created it? What if we started working for a clean environment because of our love for our neighbors? What if we started showing concern for the plants and animals because we know that their survival is essential to our survival? What if we started seeing creation care as maintenance of the delicate balance that God put into place and taking responsibility for not intentionally destroying that balance?