Artful Land Care

Lost Beauty

In YCM on March 15, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Admittedly, I am behind.  I imagine more times than not I am a notch behind what is going on around me.  This is a detriment at times, but, at times, I think it is for the better.  Being behind means, I am just coming up-to-snuff around Glen Beck’s comments of last week.  I am sure much has been said on radio, television, and the internet, both supporting and condemning the comment, “I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church website.  If you find it, run as fast as you can.  Social justice and economic justice are code words (for Communism and Nazism).  Am I advising people to leave their church?  Yes!”  Being behind the times means most all that needs saying has been said.  But how can one whose Christian community encourages the social and economic wellbeing of others, say nothing?

What might be best said this morning is Creator and creation must be sad.  Sad, I think, because now so much energy will go towards condemning or supporting a meaningless, thoughtless comment.  A verbal response surely is required, but therein lies the sadness, for creation needs so more than verbal squabbling and use of energy around a comment that should never have been spoken.

Surely too many days for too many people have been spent dealing with Beck’s comment.  Too much beauty has been lost.  How many sunrises or sunsets, breezes glancing a cheek, clouds drifting, or worms running through the hands of a child playing in the grass, have been missed and lost while contending with such a comment.  Must not there be sadness that I have taken time to write this, because someone who will not be remembered a thousand years from now spoke words of hurt?  What bird might have flown by that had I paid attention would teach me to better stand alongside the Creators creation?  What glancing light from the rising sun might have brought me closer to the awareness of dew on a leaf?

Just prior to the War Between the States, Folliot Pierpoint wrote a hymn.  I don’t know why he wrote it, some say it was originally thought of as a children’s hymn—appropriately so perhaps, but I think Peirpoint might have been appalled at the hate rolling out of the mouths of leaders, of respected clergy, of people towards their sisters and brothers.  I like to think he was trying to have folks let go of their economic fears, their certainty of rightness, and listen closer to the abundant creation around them.  That, perhaps, if they listened close enough, the people would walk away from the evils of their day.  Thinking of this, I wonder, if I listen closely enough today, if I grasp for creation’s intimate voice, I too, can walk away from my evil, from the evils of my day, and remember the possibility of a radical relationship with God’s abundant creation and know,

“For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth over and around us lies…for the beauty of…hill and vale, tree and flower, sun and moon, and stars of light,…for the joy of ear and eye, for the heart and mind’s delight, for the mystic harmony linking sense to sound and sight,…for the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent child, friends on earth and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild…Lord of all, to thee [I] raise this [my] hymn of grateful praise.”

Admittedly, I am behind.  I imagine more times than not I am a notch behind what is going on around me.  This is a detriment at times, but, at times, I think it is for the better.  Being behind means, I am just coming up-to-snuff around Glen Beck’s comments of last week.  I am sure much has been said on radio, television, and the internet, both supporting and condemning the comment, “I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church website.  If you find it, run as fast as you can.  Social justice and economic justice are code words (for Communism and Nazism).  Am I advising people to leave their church?  Yes!”  Being behind the times means most all that needs saying has been said.  But how can one whose Christian community encourages the social and economic wellbeing of others, say nothing?

What might be best said this morning is Creator and creation must be sad.  Sad, I think, because now so much energy will go towards condemning or supporting a meaningless, thoughtless comment.  A verbal response surely is required, but therein lies the sadness, for creation needs so more than verbal squabbling and use of energy around a comment that should never have been spoken.

Surely too many days for too many people have been spent dealing with Beck’s comment.  Too much beauty has been lost.  How many sunrises or sunsets, breezes glancing a cheek, clouds drifting, or worms running through the hands of a child playing in the grass, have been missed and lost while contending with such a comment.  Must not there be sadness that I have taken time to write this, because someone who will not be remembered a thousand years from now spoke words of hurt?  What bird might have flown by that had I paid attention would teach me to better stand alongside the Creators creation?  What glancing light from the rising sun might have brought me closer to the awareness of dew on a leaf?

Just prior to the War Between the States, Folliot Pierpoint wrote a hymn.  I don’t know why he wrote it, some say it was originally thought of as a children’s hymn—appropriately so perhaps, but I think Peirpoint might have been appalled at the hate rolling out of the mouths of leaders, of respected clergy, of people towards their sisters and brothers.  I like to think he was trying to have folks let go of their economic fears, their certainty of rightness, and listen closer to the abundant creation around them.  That, perhaps, if they listened close enough, the people would walk away from the evils of their day.  Thinking of this, I wonder, if I listen closely enough today, if I grasp for creation’s intimate voice, I too, can walk away from my evil, from the evils of my day, and remember the possibility of a radical relationship with God’s abundant creation and know,

“For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth over and around us lies…for the beauty of…hill and vale, tree and flower, sun and moon, and stars of light,…for the joy of ear and eye, for the heart and mind’s delight, for the mystic harmony linking sense to sound and sight,…for the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent child, friends on earth and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild…Lord of all, to thee [I] raise this [my] hymn of grateful praise.”

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