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Eyes to See

 

One day this autumn, I was walking along the sidewalk not far from our house and was astonished to see, here in the big city, a single flower growing out of a crack in the concrete. It seemed to me a reminder of the love and beauty always present in us and for us, even when all around us appears to make that unlikely.

A couple of days later I walked by again, and it was gone. There was nothing left of either the blossom or the plant.  It wasn’t that it had just withered and remained there. I wondered if perhaps someone else had been heartened by it and had picked it. Or perhaps, worse, someone had simply pulled it up, reasoning that it didn’t belong there.

But in a way, that flower is always there for me now. It still speaks to me of beauty and love  — at least when I have eyes to see and a heart open to receive.

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Peaceable Kingdom

The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
(Isaiah 11:6-9 NRSV)

Buddy and Ada holding paws

 

 

 

 

Buddy and Ada Holding Paws
– Photo by John Hoover

 

Isaiah’s beautifully poetic prophecy concerning the reign of the Messianic king foresees a world where all creatures live together in peace. But we might well ask: Is this age of peace, of harmony, of love among God’s creatures solely the responsibility of the Messiah? Do we human beings have no role to play in bringing about the peace and love described here?  Are we just to carry on business as usual—making war, damaging the environment on which we depend, hurting ourselves and others in multiple ways—in the conviction that there is nothing we can do now to bring about that time when there will be no more hurting or destroying?

On the contrary, if we are to live in the Spirit of Christ, if indeed it is true that we ourselves are called to “become participants of the divine nature” (1 Peter 1:4), then the peace that Christ brings must in some way be present in our relationships with each other and with God’s creation.

So we might ask: What small step can I take now to witness to that future when there will be no hurting or destroying in God’s creation? How can I allow God to work through me to hasten, even in a very limited way, the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea”?

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Created Good

Robin on nest in Cenacle courtyard

God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.
(Genesis 1:31)

“It was very good.” All creatures are good and valued, including ourselves who are made, amazingly enough, in the divine image.

We are told that God’s “compassion is over all that he has made” (Psalm 145:9).  As we live and love from the life of the One in whose image we are made, we too have compassion for the creation God proclaimed good.

__________

Photo: Robin on nest in Cenacle courtyard, by Sr. Rose Hoover

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