We are told that we were made in God’s image. Sometimes I think that means that we started out as trees.
We are told that God is nearer to us than our breath. Sometimes I think that means that God was the soil that cradled our roots and the rain that showered upon our leaves and the sun toward which we turned our branches.
As trees, we rested in the Earth’s embrace. We talked with God in great rustling sighs and soft raspy whispers and swayed in the wind and delighted together with her in the movement.
But one day, we longed to move more freely. Especially when the autumn came and our leaves began to fall and tumble away from us. We wanted nothing more than to go with them.
One of us figured it out first—that we could pull ourselves up, roots first, and move as we wished. One by one, those who would become human gently eased our roots from the soil. We delighted in walking and leaping and swimming and running and God delighted in watching us.
But when we rested, roots and tendrils would begin growing from our feet back down into the ground, and we would be afraid of getting stuck; afraid of watching our leaves drift away again year after year, unable to follow.
So we made shoes and carpets and cars and planes to shield us from the soil. We wandered the sky and the seas and the earth, as lonely as clouds. We forgot what it was to be held by the Earth, cradled in God’s embrace.
Only sometimes... babies remember, when they eat the dirt. Mourners remember, when they fall to hug the ground and sob. Lovers remember, when they lie on their backs in the grass and stare up at the stars.
Can you remember?
Rev. Molly Housh Gordon is the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia, Missouri.
Today’s practice is to get rooted in SHIFT, the first pillar of Commit2Respond: our collective shift to a low carbon future. Today, share one or more ways you have already worked to shift to a low carbon future, both small and large, individual and collective. It can be things you’ve done in the past or ongoing ways you are currently contributing to our low carbon future. Share on Commit2Respond’s share forum, or share on social media using the hashtag #commit2respond.
Today’s resource for deepening this message is the inspiring story of First Parish Cambridge, Unitarian Universalist, which voted in 2013 to divest its holdings in fossil fuel stocks over the next five years, and this week is participating in Harvard Heat Week, a week of actions calling on Harvard to divest its endowment from the fossil fuel industry. Starting yesterday, each day of the week includes an action training held at First Parish Cambridge. If you or your congregation has divested, share! If you or your congregation has investments and hasn’t divested, make the commitment.
Commit2Respond's Climate Justice Month intends to take you through a transformative spiritual process leading to long-term commitments to climate justice. At the end of the month you will be asked to SHIFT to a low carbon future, ADVANCE human rights, and GROW the movement. Learn more and start thinking about how you will #commit2respond to climate change.