Sunday, April 04, 2010

On Earth as it is in Heaven

by Emilie Oyen

One morning several years ago I was walking through the woods in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Dew clung to the glowing early-summer leaves, the air was rich. It was silent. No interruptions. My mind drifted as I walked, I lost track of time, of myself --- the usual --- until that point, I looked up from my thoughts and found a shaft of light spilling through a break in the trees. And you know for a brief moment it felt like heaven. 

Have you ever survived a long brutal winter to find, one March morning, the stem of a crocus pushing its up through the cold dirt? Have you watched the light play against a choppy ocean? Have you marveled at the delicacy of a moth's wings? Nature is divine, and every day it offers another miracle.
Nature is divine and sacred and glorious, and it is thus no wonder that Christians --- specifically students at Christian colleges ---- are dedicated to caring for it. And they are caring for God’s creation through action, such as recycling projects, river clean-ups, ecosystem restoration, and promoting green building.
The Green Awakenings Campus Report is the first report to document a phenomenon that is growing and that is a hopeful, spiritual pursuit of sustainable practice. The report details how Christian students and campus are working together for the renewal of God’s creation, and inspires others to join.

“We were shown that God reveals Himself through two books, His Holy Word and the Book of Nature, and both are important,” said Brittany Bennett, a student at Eastern University.

The report is divided into five geographical regions (Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and West) with a number of campuses featured from each region, interspersed with student leadership profiles. It’s very accessible --- open to any page and begin reading, or find a region and compare projects. The short, engaging pieces offer ways to connect with any of the described projects: whether to join forces or to start something new.
When asked why a green revolution, one student replied, “A green revolution is only a byproduct of a lifestyle of stewardship in which God calls us to live. I find gardening spiritual because God is life, and God calls us to live. There is something so intimate about God taking time to create on Earth, because He loves us, because He wishes to enjoy a relationship with us.”

Above painting: Parkway Ridges by Jeff Pittman

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