Rector's Reflections: A Creation Care Wake Up
Last Sunday night I had a run-in with a Barred Owl.
I was sitting in my friend Rachel's outdoor pavilion which is nestled in the woods of northern RI. It was a beautiful, peaceful autumn night of hot tea, cozy outdoor furniture, and my two closest lifelong friends: total bliss. What could be more magical?
Suddenly there was a rustle and swoosh accompanied by a brown blur exiting the woods and headed toward me from behind my two friends, and then swoop!!! a Barred owl grabbed a mouse that had been hanging out in the middle of our conversation circle, glared in my direction for a heartbeat, and then took off over my friend Meaghan's head (which was -understandably-now covered by the blanket she had been wrapped in). Our collective surprised screams and gasps got every dog in a 5 mile radius barking, and we sat there stunned, the owl's clear face (4' feet from mine) burned into my memory forever.
God's creation is absolutely unbelievable. As the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts rolls through this month of Climate Care Justice, I have been relatively detached; not apathetic or uncaring, simply occupied with the many other things that tug at our hearts and attention.
And then a Barred owl woke me up....because the Holy Spirit has a sense of humor (and I bet our triune God had a great laugh at the expense of my friends and I Sunday night as the Creator, Christ and Holy Spirit raised their glasses, laughter tears streaming down their faces at our Lucille Ball-style response to their owl and Jesus muttered, "Do it again!" and the Spirit proceeded to send a kangaroo into someone else's outdoor gathering- but I digress).
Let's wake up. Let's do a new thing. Just one if that makes it manageable enough to accomplish. Add something beautiful and caring to your routine. Make a choice to skip on something you know isn't great for our earth. Choose to forgo a plastic purchase, walk instead of driving, check out your investments to make sure they are ecologically responsible, or write a letter to a representative who will be deciding about a bill that is important to you and the earth.
While I am being light-hearted about this (because goodness knows we've had our fair share of heavy these past couple years), we know the need to up our climate care game is real and urgent.
So bit by bit, let's do more. Let it be done in the spirit of prayer, in the spirit of hope, in gratitude for all we have been given, for the sake of the owls and every other sibling of the earth who God has been entrusted into our care.
Yours in Christ,
* The above photo is a public domain image of a Barred Owl...the Owl who dive-bombed my friends and I refused to sign a photo release form and (respecting the dignity of all) I did not insist.