Our spiritual traditions are a long and deep conversation about what it means to be human, how we understand the world and the nature of meaning. As we face the climate crisis, those traditions are not useful as a way to win arguments but as the means to ground our conversation.
God made every kind of wildlife, every kind of livestock, and every kind of creature that crawls on the ground. God saw how good it was. Then God said, “Let us make humanity in our image to resemble us so that they may take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and all the crawling things on earth.” — Genesis 1:25-26 (CEB)
Life explodes across the planet, filling the oceans and rivers, covering the surface and soaring through the skies. We are told to take care of creation. Why? It’s not that we were bored so we got assigned a job. Instead, there was something that needed to be done: “to take charge of” life. But why? And what does it have to do with this mumbo jumbo about making humanity in the divine image? What does resembling the divine have to do with taking care of the life? It turns out, everything. Leading up to this passage, the picture we have been shown is a Gd who creates, who gives birth.
Gd is looking for someone who knows what it means to birth and create so they will understand how valuable life is. Each time we birth a child, each time we create something new, we get is a small sense of what it means to breath the universe into being, to breathe life across the planet. It’s a moment I saw when my daughter held up a drawing. She said LOOK! and then handed me the drawing, trusting me to take care of it and cherish it.
Take a moment to pull up that sense of wonder and, with those divine creating eyes, step outside and look around at the picture we’ve been handed.