Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cry for One

By Deanna Matzen

As you may recall, for the last week I have focused my Lenten practice of praying for the environment on praising God for the wonders of creation or praising God's character using nature images. On the praying front, I have to say that the more you praise God, the easier it gets and that's very encouraging and fun. On the practicing front, it's really hard to make time to pray. I've been very tired lately because of a busy home life as we're in the middle of a bathroom makeover and friends going through tough times. But when I make the time it is fruitful.
One of the exercises that was most enjoyable was from the book, Praying with St. Francis, which asked us to write our own Canticle. If you recall, St. Francis wrote Canticle of Brother Sun. Mine does not compare, but I encourage you all to try it if you feel the desire to express your gratitude to God for creation.

This coming week I'm focusing on prayers of confession. In a serendipitous event this morning, I was listening to NPR and the local station's environment reporter was interviewing a photo journalist who is in town to discuss her new book on the Exxon Valdez oil spill. She told the story of one of the photos in her book of a native woman crying. The native woman had asked the journalist if she had seen the dead animals. The journalist nodded. The woman then told how one day she was cleaning a beach and saw a little starfish covered in oil and started crying and couldn't stop until a friend came over and hugged her and said, "Cry for one, and try to save the rest."

It is not uncommon to feel great grief over environmental destruction. That is why I want to spend these weeks praying to God about the environment and lamenting those who have suffered at the hand of environmental sin. I want to confess the ways we've sinned against this world and ask God to forgive us. I want to confess my unforgiveness of environmental destroyers so that I may live in freedom and have the energy to keep trying to save the rest.

To help me focus this week, I decided to "Pray the News." I'm going to take time every day to read environmental news websites and then confess the sins of humanity that I see in those stories and ask God to forgive us all. If you want to engage in praying the news with me, here are some websites to get you started:

I hope you will join with me in evoking the power of God to help us all.

1 comment:

Carolyn Walden said...

This is beautiful, Deanna - thank you.

And immediately I thought that the quote "Cry for this one, and try to save the rest" would apply also to human victims of various circumstances also, whether it's the dead young men in my own neighborhood of Seattle or the Palestinians in the West Bank that we just visited or the children living close to the toxic sites in our cities.