I once got lost in the forest along Chuckanut Ridge, somewhere north of Fragrance Lake. I had been hiking there enough times before to think that I knew the terrain and could go off trail. But, really, it had been a bad week. I was in a foul mood. I knew better than wander off trail in those woods, especially in the evening. There’s nothing quite like the sun’s elongating rays dimming the forest floor to spur on fervent prayer when wandering in the woods, lost. And so I prayed, “the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not stay lost. He leads me to the right path…where my truck is parked” (or something along those lines).
Getting lost was part of my childhood, it also instilled habits of observation. These days, as a theologian concerned with all of creation, I find myself observing a toxic climate in our society and our ecosystems–and many blame Christian tradition for both. With that in mind, here you will find more compassionate ways for Christians to approach the rest of creation and, recipricolly, others might learn it is possible to find ecological insights in books of scripture as we read the book of nature.
Reclaimed waters refers to a variety of efforts and processes for returning riparian systems to a more ‘natural’ state–diked agricultural channels returning to tidelands, dams removed from rivers. It is also a metaphor to describe the material work necessary within the church to connect sacramental elements with their real life counterparts. The waters of baptism flow from real streams. Eucharist bread is made from grains grown and harvested. And the Spirit gives life to all.
May the Spirit that enervates all of creation bless you this day.