“Yet we’ve so narrowly missed being gods,
bright with Eden’s dawn light.
You put us in charge of your handcrafted world,
repeated to us your Genesis-charge…”Psalm 8:5-6 MSG
Yesterday, I looked out our front window into the cupped palm nooks of the Japanese maple, freshly leaved, and saw a fully crafted bird’s nest.
I am certain it wasn’t there yesterday. I make it a habit to stand at that window and stare out over our front yard, into the trees, watching squirrels shimmy up trunks and take acrobatic springs from one supple branch to the next. The squirrels are ever-present, but if I train my eyes to survey the space and wait, something else is sure to appear—the groundhog that burrows in the hillside away from our home’s foundation, a couple of rabbits, the deer with the bum hip, a blue jay, a pair of crows, the mourning doves that nest in one of the pines, the hawk in the tree next door.
They all come from time to time, if I wait long enough.
But somehow, between my watching one day and my watching the next, someone, some feathery someone, got real busy with homebuilding.
Everything is busy with the stuff of living. Everything is going about its business, making beds, finding nuts, making babies, chasing prey, riding the wind, flying for the fun of it, everything is being what it was made to be, doing what it was made to do, living fully into their fussy whiskers, fidgety skin, and perfect, feathery engineering.
And how am I living?
Of all of the creatures God has fashioned into being, we are the ones who can write poems. We are the ones that can watch out windows we crafted and watch creatures God fashioned and reflect with wonder on their particular patterns, their brilliant camouflage, their really realness.
We are the ones entrusted with options—to look upon the macro-skies and the micro-self and wonder what we ought to do with all of it, as if it was given to us as possession and property, when it was only entrusted to us. Hold space for this bird’s nest. Hold space for the handcrafted Japanese maple, the creeping phlox, the old pine.
It’s all echoing the name of the Creator. It’s all calling Earth its home. And we’re the ones with the power to make it homeless.
And we’re the ones with the power to restore its home.
Points of Reflection
- We’re given the responsibility by God to keep and tend Eden. What ways are you actively caring for creation already?
- What practice could you incorporate over the next six months that would add to your intentional care for creation?
For the Kids
- What does it mean to you to be in charge of God’s handcrafted world?
- Choose one animal and pray for God to show you ways you can help care for its habitat.
We care for the things we love. Take some time today to journal and reflect on God’s handcrafted world, and name specific things in creation that you are grateful for. Zero in on just one thing, one creature, and then go research its anatomy, its behavior, its habitat, what it’s threatened by, and so on, and then find one way you can support that creature’s flourishing.
Speaking of poets, Mary Oliver is one of our modern poets that is most attentive to things in nature. Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver will give you new insights and fresh eyes to see the creation around you and experience awe and wonder at all that God has made.
If there ever was a song that inspired me to look up and out at the world while simultaneously celebrating the Creator of the universe, “So Will I (One Billion X)” by Hillsong Worship does that. Enjoy this delightful, beautiful song!