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Tree-Hugging, Jesus Loving, Conservative/Conservationist

Tree-Hugging, Jesus Loving, Conservative/Conservationist

I love this earth. The lone planet we tread upon is the masterpiece our Creator blessed us with to meet our needs. A delicate balance exists to keep us warm and fed, oxygenated and healthy. Natural beauty allows a feast for our eyes, as well as the natural sounds of ocean rhythms and the glorious melody of a songbird, bringing peace to our minds. Our taste buds are heightened by the organic flavors gifted by trees, bushes, and vines. Even stroking the fur of an animal or sifting sand through our fingers creates a sense of calm.  Breathing in salt air clears the respiratory system of toxins while fragrant flowers and herbs promote relaxation and sharpen our minds.

Yes, I love this earth.

Sadly, there seems to be an odd disparity between those who are considered “Christian conservatives” and the more politically liberal minded. Falling in between that presumptuous gap has left me wildly misunderstood. Politics aside…preconceived notions aside…can we agree that the earth is our current address and that we are called to be sound stewards of such a splendid place?

Biblically speaking, we are given the privilege and responsibility to take care of this earth. At the onset of scripture we glimpse God’s heart concerning His magnum opus. “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Gen. 2:15.  The Hebrew for “keep” is “shamar” and is translated “guard” or “protect”. And I love the NIV translation of this verse since it clearly conveys that he was to “take care of it”. Adam wasn’t give authority over the created beauty to abuse it, neglect it, or destroy it. It’s important to note that we, the descendants of Adam are given the same mandate. “The time has come for judging the dead and for rewarding your servants, the prophets, and Your people who revere Your name both great and small—and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” Rev. 11:18b. Wow. I didn’t say this. Jesus did.

Now I realize this is a HUGE issue and there are no quick solutions for such complex issues. The need to fuel to run our appliances and utilities is a reality necessitates a certain amount of natural resource usage. There are valid points taken on both sides of this issue and I’m not here to debate this. But as good stewards, can we reduce our polluting habits in our own little spheres of influence?

In addition I’d like to say a word about the animals He has provided for us. Whether you are a meat-eater, vegetarian, or vegan we are NOT to abuse our animals. Ever. God did not give us these creatures to fill them with steroids and antibiotics, to act cruelly toward them, and to abnormally multiply their offspring for huge profits. Proverbs 12:10 says, “The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.” And even Jesus in Matthew 12 reminds His hearers that if someone had a sheep that fell into a pit (on the Sabbath), they certainly would take hold of it and lift it out. Mishandling of animals is just plain sinful.

How about people? We are the abusers, aren’t we? Is population control the way to go in order to keep the earth in harmony? I think not, and this is why…PEOPLE are created “in the image of God”. Sadly, we have lost the meaning of the image. It’s not people per se that cause the ruination of the earth. It is the sinful state of mind that is self-centered, self-seeking, and careless about what God called “good”. Less people doesn’t necessarily translate into better people. Humans who live in awareness of their loving Father who created this amazing world for our enjoyment and our homeostasis and who regard His masterpiece as one to be revered and cared for will naturally care for the land and not abuse it. And they certainly will not destroy the precious infant who is forming inside of a safe place called the “womb”. This, I believe, is the ultimate desecration of natural life.

Trees, birds, ocean, sky, animals, earth…all of these were designed specifically and intentionally by our amazing Creator and we are challenged to be mindful of Who it all belongs to.  As David said in Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it; for He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.”

We need not stigmatize one another any longer. God owns it. Let’s respect it.

God, help us work together to keep Your beautiful earth from becoming a wasteland, for the sake of our children and grandchildren…until You come again and fully restore it to the magnificent beauty that was Your original intention. Amen.

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Lori Travers

Lori finds the Joy of the Lord to be her strength. Born and raised an Italian Jersey girl, she has finally settled in the south as Reynolda Presbyterian church became her new home. Ministry to women, reading, writing, cooking, and anything having to do with animals are her sweet spots. Having a background in cardiac testing, she chose to stay home and raise three incredible children who are now married, and currently has 2 precious granddaughters and one faithful husband of 34 years.

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