The Earth Shudders
Kass Unger of North Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
The earth, lovingly created as an environment for life to flourish, shudders in distress because creation’s natural and living systems are becoming exhausted from carrying the burden of human greed and conflict. Humankind must awaken from its illusion of independence and unrestricted consumption without lasting consequences. -Doctrine and Covenants 163:4b
This scripture has been going through my head a lot of late.
As I write this, my country is currently burning. I don’t mean metaphorically, with temperatures frequently reaching the low 40’s (104\xc2\xba F) but physically. Actually on fire. Currently 277 fires are burning across this country. They have burned nearly 8,000,000 hectares (nearly four times the area of the Amazon fires in 2019), taken 2,136 human homes and 28 human lives. One billion mammals, birds, and reptiles-some found nowhere else on earth-have also been destroyed. Many species will now be placed on the threatened and endangered list as a direct result of these fires and the destruction they have caused to habitats and ecosystems. And the fires have not yet stopped burning.
A major contributor to the severity of the fires is drought. We have had increasing drought conditions for years. The earth shudders.
I swing from extreme frustration at our leaders, humanity, and my limited effect to devastating sadness. I hate to think of how God would feel about the way we have treated “the earth, lovingly created as an environment for life to flourish.”
Over the last couple of weeks people all over the world have been reaching out with prayers and money to support Australia. And while we are the ones currently on fire, this is not just our problem. We are all called to “awaken from [our] illusion of independence and unrestricted consumption without lasting consequences.” This means that we need to stand together on issues of peace on and FOR the earth, wherever we are. Recognize that in my welfare resides your welfare, and in your welfare resides mine and all creation’s.
I surrender into your love, O God.
What might it look like to surrender a little to God each day? A simple prayer of surrender can help us become aware of God’s consistent invitations to deeper relationship and awareness. Imagine when you encounter a challenging person or situation silently uttering this prayer, “I surrender into your love, O God.” The same prayer can be meaningful in moments of joy and gratitude as a way of returning to the awareness of oneness with God. It’s ok if we don’t surrender everything all at once all the time. The prayer of surrender is a constant practice of returning little by little to the deepest love that is the ground of our being and desires wholeness and oneness for us and all creation.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.