Grace and peace to you and through you
I was at Theewaterskloof Dam the other day. The stretched out sand surrounded the water like an army surrounding a city waiting for it to surrender. If this drought is drastic in winter we can be sure it will be deadly in summer.
As it was with the power / electricity “load-shedding” a few years ago we will probably only learn the true value of water and our dependence on water when the taps defy our touch and turn. Perhaps only then will we realise how much water we waste and never think of “catching”. In the future every rooftop will have to harvest rainwater for sure.
A life-giving world-view or spirituality humbly moves us to a truly reverent relationship with all of creation. To this end we would do well to learn from the faith traditions of those whom Christendom over the centuries have dismissively named ‘pagans’. I invite you to reflect on the following “confession of faith” from a fantasy novel called “The Fifth Sacred Thing”:
The earth is a living, conscious being. In company with cultures of many different times and places, we name these things as sacred: air, fire, water and earth.
Whether we see them as the breath, energy, blood, and body of the Mother, or as the blessed gifts of a Creator, or as symbols of the interconnected systems that sustain life, we know that nothing can live without them.
To call these things sacred is to say that they have a value beyond their usefulness for human ends, that they themselves become the standards by which our acts, our economics, our laws, and our purposes must be judged. No one has the right to appropriate them or profit from them at the expense of others. Any government that fails to protect them forfeits its legitimacy.
All people, all living things, are part of the earth life, and so are sacred. Not one of us stands higher or lower than any other.
Only justice can assure balance: only ecological balance can sustain freedom. Only in freedom can that fifth sacred thing we call spirit flourish in its full diversity.
To honour the sacred is to create conditions in which nourishment, sustenance, habitat, knowledge, freedom, and beauty can thrive. To honour the sacred is to make love possible.
To this we dedicate our curiosity, our will, our courage, our silences, and our voices. To this we dedicate our lives.
I am sure Jesus would say amen to this, aren’t you?
“We hope for a harvest, we pray for rain, but nothing is certain? We say that the harvest will only be abundant if the crops are shared, that the rains will not come unless water is conserved and shared and respected. We believe we can continue to live and thrive only if we care for one another… …But at last we have come to understand that we are part of the earth, part of the air, the fire, and the water, as we are part of one another.”
– The Fifth Sacred Thing, Stawhawk