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Monday, September 17, 2007

The way it was

I have often thought about the way it was before the white man and even to the beginning of the age before the Fall of man. These weeks have been much too busy to piece together that subject, so I will just give you some scattered thoughts amongst my week of distractions, additions and subtractions. I think of this theme as I spend a small scattered time dealing blows, (subtracting), to the Eurasia (white man) bindweed and the right-after-the-Fall-of-man thistles. I think of Eden as I drive the roads of this island in between meetings and errands.

I love the distraction of late summer, the slanted muted light that hits a red tail hawk’s tail and wings as it flies to a tree, crossing the road eye level in front of my windshield. Later in the day I stop, spirit refreshed, to see a doe and fawn slowly cross the same road in front of my car to enter the woods on the other side. I love this time of year. Returning in the dark of evening, my headlights pick up eyes ahead, I slow down and pass a buck on the side of the road. This week I’ve watched the ravens, the turkey vultures, the juncos, and nuthatches and brown capped chickadees all the time thinking that they were all around before man. I look at the land to see if there is any hint of what it might have been like. The trees, what is left of the native grasses all moving together with the wind, the native plants, snowberry, with its now white round fruit. When the light hits them , I smile and am refreshed.

I remember the camas looking like bluebells, that were on the point when we first bought the land. That was before the deer became too populated. Our field used to be full of camas, propagated by the first peoples, bulbs harvested to make a flour like substance. We’ve planted some seeds around inside the gate to see if they might grow once again.
A lot of people look to the native people thinking that the environment was much better when they ruled the land. They didn’t have bindweed, but they still had thistles. They might have been better stewards, but they worshiped nature not the Creator and all of us including nature have not been perfect since the Fall of man.

I have often wondered about the times when something in nature stands out, as the red tailed hawk and the deer and grasses. Why does my heart have joy? I knew it was not because I worshiped nature since I worship its Creator, but how was this connected? And why was I always so sad and upset when that which I delighted in was destroyed? As I mentioned in another blog, I’ve been reading Heaven by Randy Alcorn. I had an insight from this book this week. They joy was a glimpse of the new heaven and earth where there will be no death or decay or beauty destroyed and a chance to praise God. Heaven and Earth will be one when Christ comes again. He points out that the old Earth will be restored. We all have that longing for the beauty that we think is untouched by man. This is where my longing for the pristine, beauty of natural landscape comes from and my inability to keep it pristine, fowled by man’s actions or the weeds or unruly plants in my garden.

Until Heaven on Earth, God, however, looks to the church, the unlikely group of fellow believers, to demonstrate His beauty and presence on earth. This week this diverse group with every church background possible, has, only by the Holy Spirit’s intervention, come to a meeting of the minds to write an installation service for our new and first pastor, a new beginning for our fellowship of believers who have forever been without a shepherd. We still have a long way to go with a lot of subtractions and additions. The way it was is now gone and we have a better chance now of bringing light and refreshment and joy to those we meet along the road.

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