Thursday, February 17, 2011

Is Creation my Neighbour?

If we are to obey the golden rule and “love our neighbour as we love ourselves” (Matt 19:19), can we replace “Neighbour” with “Creation” and ‘love creation as we love ourselves?’ What would that look like?
If you live in the city as I do, you don’t have to look very far to see how we have disobeyed this ‘Green rule.’ The larger cities become, the more impersonal relationships become with people, products and even plants. But to people who live in smaller villages, I wonder, are the relationships more personal, are the products greener and the plants healthier? Because I live in a city, I understand that this post is speaking against me, but I think the question is a valid one.
Several years ago, after I graduated from Capilano College with my Special Education certificate, I thought about moving to Smithers to work with friends of mine who work with native youth. As the summer passed, however, a job opened for me in North Vancouver and I was happy to take it and stay close to home. I don’t want to leave North Vancouver, but I wonder, if I was to do so, would I follow the desire I had in 2003 and join my friends up north?
One of the reasons why I loved it up there was the close knit relationship the family I was living with had with creation. They were not environmentalists but they raised their own chickens to lay eggs, grew their own vegetables and allowed their kids to get their hands dirty in doing the same.
With the creation of cities, which seem to be overwhelming our modern culture, our desire to be green has taken a back seat. Only recently have some people decided to take baby steps to reverse this trend, and they are fighting an uphill battle.
Instead of loving creation as we love ourselves, most of us have decided to build more urban sprawl so that creation is no longer our neighbour and we therefore don’t need to do anything about the problem. Now, people who care about creation have to travel far and wide to find it in its truest form. And that doesn’t seem to bother us because we do not love creation as we love ourselves.
As Jesus concluded the story of the Good Samaritan, he asked “who was it who acted neighbourly?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had compassion on him.”
Christ replied “Go and do the same.” (Luke 10:36-37)
Nature is currently lying in the middle of the road. Are we crossing over to the other side?

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