Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great… He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst. By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches… He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth… The trees of the Lord are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house. The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies… O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches…. thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good… Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. – Psalms 104
Down the road about a quarter of a mile there is rooted a most hospitable cedar tree. A pair of garter snakes have made their home at its base, a happily buzzing community of busy honeybees have created a hive in its middle, and in a hole further up the tree’s trunk there is a bird’s nest. The cedar tree has its own little ecosystem dwelling in it…
There are lessons to be learned from this tree. Note that it’s embracing the life living within it. The snakes, bees, and birds, and the tree are all living in harmony with one another. There’s no battle going on there – the bees aren’t taking up more space than they need for their hive, the snakes and bird aren’t fighting over trunk rights. There’s no evidence of greed here. Nothing trying to get more than its share of what it needs to survive. It is A Peaceable Kingdom of a Tree.
And isn’t a peaceable kingdom what we want for our whole world? Don’t we want to see all of creation living in healthy harmony?
Our environment seems to be in real trouble right now. The Earth’s water, land, and air are polluted; our food has been genetically-altered from its natural state; we have rising seas and rising temperatures. We appear to have gotten ourselves in a real mess.
How can we, as expressions of Life and Love, help heal our environment?
Working to help heal our environment has been an on-going demonstration for me. I’ve been involved in environmental causes since I was a youngster. I’ve written letters, signed petitions, marched with signs, boycotted corporations that seem to be working against a clean environment, written blog posts, taken photos, recycled, had No Car days, picked up trash, and tried to become conscious of the affect I have on the world around me. These actions have all been the human footsteps I’ve felt led to take to help heal our environment.
But I’ve found the best place for me to START when I’m looking for healing is in my own thoughts – my internal environment. As Jesus said (Luke 17), “…the kingdom of God is within you.” I believe we carry around our own heaven, and our own hell in our thoughts. And to help heal myself and the world, I believe I need to be diligent about casting out the hell-thoughts of greed, selfishness, fear, ego, pride, cruelty, hopelessness, and guilt in my own consciousness – because those suckers are, for sure, not going to help me or anything around me. And while I’m emptying my human consciousness of the hell-stuff, I’m filling my consciousness with the heaven-thoughts of love, joy, kindness, generosity, hope, wisdom – these are the thoughts that bring me near to God, Love, and bring healing.
I’m not going to ignore the erroneous actions that come from greed and cruelty, or try to appease the greedy and corrupt in any way. Mohatma Gandhi said, “A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” And I refuse to let the greed and selfishness that seem to be in the world have any power over me – I’m not going to let someone else’s greed make me afraid, or take away my hope, or have any control over me whatsoever. I’m not going to allow some corporation’s dishonest engineering or thoughtless polluting have any effect on my health or well-being. I refuse to let the corruption in politics stop me from doing my job of expressing God – of being kind, wise, and loving. I refuse to be led astray from my job of working out my “own salvation.”
Are we without hope? Is it too late to heal our environment? Are we already experiencing “the end of the world”?
Nope. I believe that “nothing is impossible to God” – that it’s never too late for a victory over evil. Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Human hate has no legitimate mandate and no kingdom. Love is enthroned. That evil or matter has neither intelligence nor power, is the doctrine of absolute Christian Science, and this is the great truth which strips all disguise from error.”
I believe that as we transform and purify our thoughts – our outward environment will be transformed and purified, too.
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth…And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. – Genesis 1