This week, on April 22, the world will mark Earth Day, a day where much conversation focuses on what an incredible world we’ve all found ourselves living in and what we can do to care for it. Those conversations always make me think of the words in Psalm 19:
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.
That word, craftsmanship, it connotes hands-on action, up close and careful work. It reminds me of another verse about God’s creation — us: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10).
We, His masterpiece, get to live amongst His oh-so carefully created world. What a gift — I almost can’t believe it. Sequoia trees and ocean depths. Constellations, meadows, mountain peaks. Thunderstorms, snow, summer breeze.
I am by no means an expert on the many environmental issues of the day — climate change, shifting weather patterns, dwindling natural resources — but when I think of the wondrous world God has given us, I feel a joyful duty to figure out how I can increasingly care for it. I can listen to experts. I can start with small steps — recycling, reusable water bottles, picking up litter while I’m out walking. And I can celebrate by getting out into the world He made and called good.
There’s something I noticed on a trip a couple years ago. It’s a trick for days when the most nature I encounter is a 30-second jaunt from my front door to my car. Picture this: I was in a bustling city where parks with trees and manicured lawns were the closest thing to the great outdoors any of us could get. What I noticed were people sitting on benches and at cafes in the sun. Instead of scrolling on their phone, talking to a friend or even reading a book, their eyes were closed and their heads were tilted back to fully embrace the shining sun. It was an incredible sight — children played loudly just a few feet away, cars zoomed by, ambulances shrieked into the air, but their faces were lifted and still. Witnessing that quiet, almost reverent act over and over made me realized I can stop and enjoy what God has created wherever I am.
Think for a moment of your favorite place on earth. Maybe it’s a beach or a front porch or pasture out back. Maybe you’re thinking of a campfire under the night sky, a city park or being out on the water — where is it that you feel awed and grateful by what God has made?
A few other places I think of? A grassy amphitheater called Beatty’s Cabin in the Pecos Wilderness of New Mexico. The bluest water I’ve ever seen off the coast of Greece. The sunset outside my window pretty much any day. A night sky full of stars. Walking a trail in a quiet forest. Those are mine, but like the psalmist writes, God’s craftsmanship speaks to all of us, all over the world.
What place do you think of when you consider how God has spoken to you through His created Earth? And if you don’t have a place, might I suggest something? Start wherever you are today by lifting your face to the sun. The Light of the World will meet you there.