I found this image through the Facebook page of Interfaith Power and Light, a national faith-based environmental group. It’s one of many prepared by Sarah Ogletree and offered in a media toolkit for faith communities through website of strikewithus.org (https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1_Oflxq9qzHGhqLdTKlaMdMBLC_t_ULCu). She has designed graphics to include many objects of love: farms, farmers, deserts, mountains, neighbors, children, families, oceans, youth, pollinators, rivers, “this world,” “those not yet born,” islands, and communities. If we love any or all of these creatures, these living beings, we have a reason to do what we can to help them live and flourish.
Tomorrow, three days before the UN Climate Summit in NYC, young people and adults will join in a global strike to demand that action be taken to address the climate crisis. For people of faith, supporting this strike is an expression loving what God loves and loving it enough to stand with young people around the world to call for a just response to the urgency of climate change. If we can’t literally stand with them at a strike, we can amplify their voices on social media and in conversations with friends, co-workers, and family.
When I saw Sarah Ogletree’s beautiful graphics, I thought of two of Noel Paul Stookey’s songs. “For the Love of It All” is both about the divine Love that started “it all” and about what our loving “it all” could lead us to do.
Still the world is in labor,
She groans in travail.
She cries with the eagle, the dolphin,
She sighs in the song of the whale.
While the heart of her people
Prays at the wall.
A spirit inside is preparing a bride
For the Love of it all
For the Love of it all,
Like the stars and the sun,
We are hearts on the rise,
Separate eyes with the vision of one.
No valley too deep, no mountain too tall,
We can turn back the night with merely the light
From the Love of it all.
“In These Times” more directly addresses the environmental crisis.
As the perfect storm approaches and the gale around us roars
No longer can we close our eyes and hide behind our doors:
Our choices fewer now by what we’ve chosen to ignore
In these times . . .
The ship of state is drifting; it’s getting hard to steer
It’s a complicated issue but the direction’s pretty clear
and ‘each of us’ is who we need to get to there from here
In these times . . .
In these times . . . we must be mindful of the gift
In these times . . . use our hands and hearts to lift
The fallen spirit in this land
Bringing water to the sand
Reaching out a helping hand
In . . . these . . . times
These times call us to act “for the Love of it all.” Be it so.