We packed the dry bags into the blue, tandem kayak and set off paddling the three miles to our remote campsite. It was my first time camping on Maryland’s eastern shore, and the day could not have been more beautiful.
That evening the sunset was filled with pinks and oranges, followed by a magnificent starry sky with Mars reflected on the water. I was awestruck.
Jewish theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel, in his book God in Search of Man, writes, “Awe enables us to perceive in the world intimations of the divine, to sense in small things the beginning of infinite significance, to sense the ultimate in the common and the simple; to feel in the rush of the passing the stillness of the eternal.”
In our work together it is good to be reminded of these moments of awe and wonder.
This part of Maryland is among some of the most threatened by climate change, and in fact, the island where we camped used to be a part of the mainland before the waters rose all around it. It is a reminder that the impacts of climate change are already here and already being felt by communities.
But it’s also a reminder that we sense in small things, and small actions, the beginning of infinite significance. Tomorrow, September 1, is the World Day of Prayer for Creation. Begun in 1989 by Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I for the Orthodox Church, this day has been embraced by other major Christian traditions around the world.
Praying for the earth and all of its inhabitants may feel like a small thing, but for people of faith, it is the beginning of something that is of infinite significance. It is the beginning of re-remembering the sacred connection between us as humans, and God’s good Creation.
I invite you to take time tomorrow to get out into nature, to pray for Creation with others around the world, and to invite your friends to become part of the faith climate action movement.
Rev. Susan Hendershot