We live in a balance with all life, in a dance. The Hebrew people have a word for it: shalom. We believe that God created the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that moves on the earth and in the sea so that we fit each other. God created a balanced microcosm in the way that animals and plants feed each other oxygen and carbon dioxide. A similar dynamic happens with food; we eat it and it becomes us, and we expend it in all sorts of ways.
The ELCA Social Statement on “Caring for Creation” says that “Christian concern for the environment is shaped by . . . the Breath of God daily renewing the face of the earth.” So the breath we take and exhale renews plants. And plants renew us with their releases. Could it be that this is one way that “the Breath of God daily renews the face of the earth”? If so, does that mean that we are not only connected with plants, animals, and each other, but also with God? All those connections are spiritually rich.
This message is adapted from “Connected to the Earth” written by L. Shannon Jung in the October 2006 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather magazine).