My mother once said that she’d like to see a bumper sticker:
That came back to mind, reading an interview with former astronaut Marc Garneau — Canada’s first man in space and now Federal Minister of Transport. He said that if more people could see Earth the way he has seen it — from the International Space Station — people would appreciate what we have. He believes more people would thus be inspired to do more to preserve the planet.
That appears to be a popular line from NASA: that the creation of the Earth was a total fluke and that the future of the Earth lies in space exploration. I talked about that in June, after seeing the documentary “One Strange Rock”. Certainly, you get a different perspective from space, and there are a lot of things you can’t see from 400 kilometres (240 miles), to wit:
- poor people
- oppressed people
- homeless people
- drug-addicted people
The inconvenient truth is, when you look at the way the Bible describes it, God created Earth as the manifestation of His glory and power, and also as the home for His creations — with people as the crowning achievement. Witness the fact that He put us in charge of caring for the entire “garden”.
Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”— Genesis 1:28
But it’s important to remember that He does not command us to fix things if we mess up with that assignment. Instead, He tells us that if we see natural catastrophes, we need to turn to Him and let Him take care of it.
And how do we turn to God? Very simple: we place other people’s needs ahead of our own. We reach out to the poor, the homeless, the drug-addicted, those living in poverty, and we help them. We do it in the name of Jesus Christ, and keep doing it, even when we don’t feel like it, don’t particularly like the people we’re helping and certainly without expecting even a “thanks” — not in this world, anyway.
By doing that, we draw closer to God (Matthew 25:40), and as we do that, God promises to heal the land.
Oh, yeah: and it’s not very costly. Consider that Dennis Tito became the first “space tourist” by forking out US $20million to take a ride. In 1965, satirist Tom Lehrer referred to “$200 million of your money to put some clown on the moon.” Loving your neighbour doesn’t cost anywhere near that much — and what it does cost, guess Who supplies the resources?
So, M’sieur le ministre, it’s not about appreciating and saving our planet. People do appreciate it and have been trying everything they can think of to repair the damage done, and more and more we’re seeing that those efforts have been fruitless. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about doing what God intended us to do: take care of one another. It’s an important sidebar to the theme of my book, God at Work: A Testimony of Prophecy, Provision and People Amid Poverty*: that there’s a mission field in our own backyard that needs workers.
We take care of the people – He takes care of the Earth.
*On sale now at online booksellers or by clicking on the link.