Kingdom of Heaven
“There is no need to be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased God to give you the kingdom.”
“When we are truly alive, we can see that the tree is part of heaven, and we are also a part of heaven. The whole universe is conspiring to reveal this to us.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
When I began writing this blog in February, 2011, these were the first quotes I used, along with another by Thich Nhat Hanh, “The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment, and appreciate the peace and beauty that is available now.” I chose them six years ago, because that February was freezing cold, even in Alabama, and I was anxiously anticipating the coming of spring. Today, I am anxiously anticipating the coming of summer, but for a very different reason. February was not cold this year—the average daytime temperature was 58, with an average low of 37. No doubt July and August will be insufferably hot.
When I read the scripture from Luke, I feel like a child of God, part of the “little flock” who has received the kingdom. Now, it is my responsibility to care for that kingdom. It genuinely hurts me when I see how cavalier we humans are with the beautiful gift we've been given. When we open our national parks to drilling and mining, we are putting money ahead of preserving some of the most beautiful parts of creation. Would it make a difference if we were to open our eyes and see that, indeed, the mountains, deserts, prairies, ice covered arctic, and we, ourselves, are all part of the same kingdom of heaven?
Over the weekend, my friend, Anna, showed me a beautiful book published in 1997, by Jungian Analyst, James Hillman, and artist, Margot McLean, titled, Dream Animals. In it, Hillman describes the symbolic meanings of animals that show up in our dreams, and McLean's ethereal, mystical art depicts the animals that are disappearing from earth—wild horses, elephants, hippos, polar bears, tigers, turtles, insects, such as bees and butterflies, and many more. That publication was twenty years ago. In the last forty years, according to the World Wildlife Federation, the earth has lost fully half of its wild animals to poaching, pollution, global warming and destruction of habitat. Is that the best way to show our gratitude for God's gift?
We humans can be part of the miracle of Green Earth, if we wake up, and take responsibility for our stewardship of the kingdom. We are the “little flock” in charge.
In the Spirit,