A Parable for Earth Day by Kelly Belcher

Editor’s note: On this Earth Day I turn over my blog spot to friend Kelly Belcher for her creative and timely message.

By Kelly Belcher

In the end, the green earth was lush and full with the glory of God, and sunlight shone through the depths of sweet oceans, and the feet of God’s children crept over the earth in peace.

And people said, “Let there be gas pipelines to maintain dependence on fossil fuel and get politicians re-elected.”

So the people piped oil across the land and drove their cars into the night, and sent smoke and ozone and soot into the heavens, which blotted out the sunlight. And there was evening and morning, the seventh-to-last day.

And people said, “Let there be “clean-coal” plants, so we can keep outdated jobs that give workers black lung, and avoid re-educating anybody for a better job than that, and deface the mountainsides to level the land.”

So the people built coal plants that were not altogether “clean,” and the mountains and hills were brought low, and ashes avalanched so that the waters were no longer separated from the land.

And there was evening and morning, the sixth-to-last day.

And people said, “Let there be hydraulic fracturing, to further enhance our dependence on fossil fuel and allow us to pretend we are inventing new clean technologies which help us feel good about ourselves and keep people working at dismal jobs.”

So there was fracking across the land and also into the waters, and earthquakes and waves rose upon the shores, and the reefs and barrier lands, marshes and estuaries were no more.

And there was evening and morning, the fifth-to-last day.

And people said, “Let there be no government meddling in city growth, and no plan which prevents building and crowding, and no districting which would keep us from having all the expanded highways and landfills, golf courses and sprawl that we desire, because growth is good.”

So there were cities built on hills and in deserts, and electric grids stretched to capacity; the land and the ocean were covered with garbage, and the smog blotted out the lesser lights by night, and the earth teemed with rich developers, lawyers, and absentee landlords.

And there was evening and morning, the fourth-to-last day.

And people said, “Let us have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, and every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth, to use to our own advantage, because we rule the earth, and we can.”

So the people created chemical fertilizer and soil conditioner, weed killer and pesticide, paints and coatings, cleaning compounds and poisons; and they spread their creations over the face of the deep; and the butterflies and honeybees, the cheetahs and giraffes, the birds and bats, the fireflies and fishes were no more.

And there was evening and morning, the third-to-last, quieter day.

And people said, “Let us make God in our image, after our likeness, and let God have a special place in all the earth, able to grant prayers and bless us, but not so as to compromise our complete dominion over all things and our plans for downtown.”

So the people created God in their image, mostly male they created Him except for some liberals who allowed for slight femininity in the Divine; and they kept God in God’s rightful place, Sunday mornings from 11 to 12, and the people retained power and judgment over all things, especially all other people’s gods across the earth; and the people liked themselves very much.

And there was evening and morning, the second-to-last day.

And people said, “Let us live in any way we please and take all we want, even when others suffer because of our over-consumption, because we are worth it and you only live once, and the one who dies with the most toys wins.”

So the people lived it up and died hard; they fought wars over what was left of the land and the waters; they killed each other and told themselves it was for God’s sake; they ate like kings as children starved; they were all-powerful and used everything up, until there was evening and morning, the last day.

And the earth was without form, and void, messy and ruined, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

But the Spirit of God, the ruach, was moving over the face of those waters.

-Hospice Chaplain Kelly Belcher lives and ministers in Asheville, N.C., where she is a member of the First Baptist Church. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Nurturing Faith Publishing. Photos by John D. Pierce.

 

 

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