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Creation Care Starts with Our Bodies

Feb 26 2014
Or, what I learned from my bikini-clad mother-in-law about the goodness of creation.

It is no surprise that most major relief and community development organizations are beginning to figure the environment into their programs. Groups like World Vision, for example, are encouraging their supporters in the industrialized West to change their overconsumptive lifestyles to benefit those in more impoverished regions on the world.

I know what you're thinking: Hold on—isn't it precisely those who believe in God who often do the most damage to the environment? Isn't it the industrialized West, which is full of Christians, that is raping and pillaging the earth for their citizens' own gain, leaving the fish, birds and innocent humans to suffer in impoverished landscapes? Well, yes.

So, allow me to qualify my remarks. I don't think simply believing in God is enough. What is needed, and what Hosea says the people of his day were lacking, is love. Love, rooted in faith, gives us the humility to see our greed for what it is and what it causes—suffering for the Earth and its inhabitants. Love, not idealized or sentimental, but practical and concrete, gives us the courage to make the connection. Love, grounded in the understanding of creation's goodness and worth makes all the difference.

Adapted from Planted: A Story of Creation, Calling, and Community (Cascade Books, 2013). Used with permission.

Leah Kostamo is an earthkeeper and storyteller. She is also the author of the new book Planted: A Story of Creation, Calling, and Community, in which Kostamo invites readers to joyfully embrace "earthkeeping" as an essential part of the Christian life. You can find her online at leahkostamo.com and follow her @leahkostamo.

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