It’s a sunny day here in Toledo, Ohio. The birds are singing and the daffodils are in bloom. They bring to mind the words of Pope Francis in the encyclical Laudato Si (On Care for Our Common Home): “The entire material universe speaks of God’s love….”
With Earth Day being so close to Lent—and my Lenten practice of a daily walk—today I’m especially grateful for all of God's creation that I’ve met along the way. I’ve included a few pictures of them below so you can meet them, too.
My last Lenten walk was on Holy Saturday, and it ended with a splash. Literally. I had walked about a mile when the downpour began.
My weather app had warned me about rain, so I brought an umbrella. But the rain was so heavy that my feet got soaked anyway. It was like nature’s version of the washing of the feet, only with really cold water. My shoes squished the whole way home.
Not surprisingly, no one else was out walking. My only companions were a redwing blackbird who kept an eye on me, a toad on a foot bridge, some squirrels, and lots of flowers.
When I picture all my Lenten companions, I see God’s abundant love.
Their images help me when I start to feel overwhelmed by the challenges that exist—pollution, climate change, and deforestation among others. These long-term problems won’t be easily or quickly resolved.
So what can I do, right now, in response to God’s abundant love? One thing is continue my Lenten practice of walking, with a twist: to look for and take new steps every day to help the environment. I’ll also keep a picture of my walking companions on the refrigerator for daily inspiration.
May you and all your companions have a glorious and blessed Earth Day!
P.S. You may want to check out what’s being done internationally for environmental justice and healing via the United Nations Environmental Programme.