It’s Earth Day today.
It’s Good Friday today.
I can see a connection between Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and a day devoted to saving our planet. I was speaking to some of my more devout Catholic friends yesterday and they couldn’t see the connection or didn’t want to. They do not see religion and environmentalism as bedfellows but to me honouring the world and nature is a form of honouring whatever higher power you believe in.
Atonement, redemption, salvation – sometimes those very things seem to be what shape our lives more than anything else. We always seem to be making up for something.
In the Catholic Mass on Good Friday there is a service called the Liturgy of The Word where the clergy enter the church in complete silence without any singing. Then they make a silent prostration which signifies both the abasement of earthly man and the grief and sorrow of the Church.
Grief and sorrow.
For what happened to Jesus.
Grief and sorrow.
For what is happening to the world.
Maybe I’m the only one who sees a connection.
I don’t mean to be irreverent, but I see it.
When I was a little girl I used to attend Mass with my grandmother at Easter. The thing I remember the most about Good Friday was the stillness. No singing. No singing. Singing was the major reason I went to Church.
At first the stillness was disconcerting. Too quiet. I could hear my own heart beating. Hear my patent leather shoes squeaking as I fidgeted in the pew.
Stillness – translucent, a rose garden at dawn. Trying not to talk. Trying not to breathe. And slowly, oh so slowly becoming aware of the sacredness. Making me think, making me consider how long it can take to attain clarity.
There is sadness in stillness. And there is joy. Like religion. Like the Church. Like the Earth.
I don’t go to church anymore but the stillness, the reverent, opaque, heartfelt drift of it remains. In the trees. The water. The hills. The flowers that bend in the wind. And I wonder if you can find what you find in a place of worship out in the world, in the wild, in the thick of it all. I wonder if you can find the stillness.
There is a song sometimes sung at church called He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands. Whenever I hear it I think of Jesus holding this planet, our planet in his hands, cradling it like a newborn baby.
I think if Jesus were here right now holding our world in his hands he would entreat us to save it. And to savour the stillness.
Happy Good Earth Day.