Our environment is our responsibility to protect, and the one environment we all share is our planet–Earth. We are stewards of our home, but we often steward it badly. Polluted air and water create diseases in humans and animals, natural disasters destroy lives…and much of the destruction is due to failure to plan ahead or step in to save lives and clean up efficiently.
But people have different reactions to this truth: some continue living their lives wastefully, not caring what happens to the environment or the future as long as their present is comfortable. Others become obsessed with “saving the planet” or some subsection of it, to the detriment even of human lives. Earth is our responsibility, but it is not a Mother Goddess. We are to care for it, not abuse it, nor worship it.
God gave this Earth to us, as a “sister,” of sorts. Good siblings don’t abuse, neglect, obsess over, or worship their sisters. They take responsibility and treat them with kindness…and isn’t that how we should care for our Earth as well?
Related Bible Verses
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place…
I don’t recall where I heard it, but someone said: “The Earth is not our mother–it is our sister, suffering alongside us due to our mismanagement of resources, etc.” This is a very, very broad paraphrase.
The main point is that we need to have a balanced view of Earth. It is not unrelated to us–a thing to be ignored–but it is NOT “Mother Earth,” in the pagan goddess sense. Earth was given to Adam and Eve and their descendants to live on and be cared for. That includes us, today.
The words “sister Earth” brought to mind an ascending three-note motif, and that’s what I played with until I came up with this song:
Sister Earth, look at what we’ve done to you with our sins and our abuse
You are not our Mother, but a fellow sufferer, it’s true
We were meant to care for you, but we did not follow through
We all long for our rebirth, don’t we, sister Earth?
All your rivers and your mountains and your forests and your seas
We’ve appropriated for our selfish uses, mindlessly
We have plumbed your depths to fill our greeds and not addressed our needs
Can we say we are sorry?
Sister Earth please forgive us for we’ve spurned, disrespected you, and turned
All your gifts and blessings into curses and you, Earth,
Bear our worship and neglect, which you don’t deserve, and yet
Here we are, bleeding hearts, don’t you wish we never met?
We’ve drowned you in blood, made evil mud whenever we well pleased
We have bowed and scraped to you, betrayed the One who always sees
We have looted and polluted you and dragged you to your knees
In defeat, now we weep
Sister Earth, not a mother goddess or anything but bruised and sore
From sustaining such a greedy group of humans who have torn
You apart and not repented of sin or have relented from causing strife and grief
We all long for relief
But one day He will come and make all things right
Restore to you your health and your wealth and light
Until that blessed day we must deal with this pain,
With the mess that we have made, we’ve created
Sister Earth, may we never more abuse you and leech you dry and use you
For you’re our sister and a fellow sufferer, it’s true
That we did not follow through on our promises to you
But in due time, by God’s grace, we’ll all be renewed