Sunday, April 17, 2011
By Tracey Bianchi I’m a midwestern girl coming out of her winter shell this month. Flip flops are lost companions just now crawling out from under beds and hidden closet shelves. I let out a long, icy sigh as I see daffodils fighting with the frozen ground and magnolia buds cracking open. Every time the seasons flip and winter caves into spring I find my soul stunned again at the majesty and simple goodness of being outside. In Chicago, three long months of the year are spent at temperatures below freezing. Then come summer we actually have the audacity to lament the chewy, ninety degree air of July. Both we fight by flipping on heat and air conditioning. We race from climate controlled homes to air conditioned cars, from heated grocery stores to humidity free schools. If I’m not careful I’ll spend half my life inside. So when I discover again the glory of God as revealed in Creation I confess that it’s hard to grasp drinking from God’s deep rivers when I drink from a faucet. Righteousness like mountains and justice like the sea? Nope. The elevation of Chicago is 597 feet. Try to climb that. Burning bushes? Have yet to see one in the suburbs. God’s love extending to the skies? Well, I do look up during worship and count the beams in the sanctuary but I cannot see past the building to get to God’s extensive skies. Regardless of where you live, the trajectory of American life has most of us trying to eek out a life separated from the vastness of God’s Creation unless we determine otherwise. God speaks to us every day; all of Creation sings the glory of God. His mercy and goodness reach to the heavens. This year’s liturgical calendar brings the Lenten journey and Earth Day into a partnership and as leaders we have a unique opportunity to help those we serve connect with God in Creation. Our Christian holy week (Good Friday) shares the same calendar square as Earth Day. Perhaps on this day we should fast and pray, worship and dream, cry and yearn for God like Good Friday and Holy Week beg us to do. And then, step outside and invite others to join us in soaking up the majesty of Creation during this emotion soaked week. Take the opportunity to literally live OUT your influence. Live it outside this week if you can and invite others to do the same. The God of the universe is calling you to notice him in the sunsets and the majesty of your backyard. Breathe new life into your leadership this week by breathing in some fresh air. Tracey Bianchi is a pastor, activist and author trying to do her best to manage life from the suburbs of Chicago. She’s a blogger (http://traceybianchi.com) and the author of Green Mama: The Guilt Free Guide to Saving the Planet (Zondervan, 2010).
Posted by FullFill™ Magazine at 8:35 PM