“Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us; look, and see our disgrace! We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are like widows. Our fathers sinned, and are no more; and we bear their iniquities." Lamentations 5:1,3,7
What mother does not hope to leave her children a good, safe home in which to thrive? Our spiritual roots track this longing at every turn, from the covenant promise to Abraham’s innumerable descendants, to the gospel’s gift of grace “to you and your children.” Redemption doesn’t comes to us as loners, but to the community of God – including our children’s children.
And yet today, young people everywhere suffer that heart-deep awareness that they are being handed a wounded world. We see them airing that grief in climate strikes – walking out of class to force adults to notice the harm they face. Their talisman is Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swede who takes Fridays off of school to protest.
We applaud. The kids will solve it, we hope. But note this, please: Greta is doing what we all can do, right now. She avoids polluting air travel. Her diet is low-carbon. And she speaks out. What she is doing is not solely for her generation to solve, but for her elders as well, if they have genuine concern for their children.
“It’s sometimes annoying when people say, ‘Oh you children, you young people are the hope. You will save the world,’ ” said Greta recently. But she has a message for her elders: “I think it would be helpful if you could help us just a little bit.”
Can we ask God how we may help, at least a little bit?
By: John Elwood, Beloved Planet
Creator God, we know that you call us all to the task of restoring and preserving your injured world. Give us the courage to find our place among your earth-keepers, young and old. Amen