This morning I began a new game while walking at Valley Park, a little challenge for myself. When I came upon a rabbit nibbling clover near my path, I tried to walk past without disturbing it. Then, down near the pond, I did the same with two ducks that were resting nearby. Granted, these animals dwell in a public park and are accustomed to having people around, but I still felt a certain sense of glee when I was able to walk by without disrupting them! On my return path I came upon the rabbit again, and it hopped along with me for a short while, as if to indicate that we were now comrades for the journey. I thought about St. Francis and his tender care for God’s nature and creatures.
I believe all of creation is crying out for us to walk more gently upon the earth. To stop trampling and begin enriching the soil. To stop destroying and begin healing the environment. To stop possessing and begin stewarding and sharing the earth. To stop hurting and dividing and begin helping and honoring one another. To stop fearing the future and begin changing the present.
How might we begin a new game, one in which we challenge ourselves to do less disturbing, disrupting, dominating, or dividing? How might we challenge ourselves to unite together with God, with nature, and with one another for the good of all? How might we challenge ourselves to walk more gently through this day, upon this earth?
Perhaps our first step is to begin walking more gently with ourselves.
Today, may you take some time to consider the miracle of you, to look upon yourself with awe and wonder. May you be gentle with yourself, for you are beloved of God. And may gentleness fill your spirit and lead you out to walk more graciously, softly, and tenderly… upon this earth… among its creatures… beside one another… and united with God.
“…walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.“
(Ephesians 4:1-3, NRSVUE)
Bible passage found at https://www.biblegateway.com/
Photo by Karen, Teays Valley, WV