Nature is where you find it, and you find it by looking closely at where you already are. God works in mysterious ways to reveal grandeur and how things die to nourish what comes next in a system where waste equals food.
I wish our church property weren’t located across from an untended right-of-way in front of a fenced housing development, and bounded by a busy state highway, the foundation for a former electrical substation and a school bus parking lot. But it is, and it also has a recently formed biodiversity site resulting from the retention pond/groundwater-recharge basin we were obligated to put in when we expanded our asphalt parking lot. This roughly rectangular pond is regarded, as much as anyone even notices it, as a nuisance that the lawncare people have to mow around.
Actually, it’s been given to humble us for wanting grand wildlife scenery before we even appreciate what God placed literally in our back yard. I decided to just watch, from a distance and from as close as I could get. I used the surprisingly effective close-up setting on a first-generation digital point-and-shoot camera to assure myself that I wasn’t just imagining all the cycles, seasons, interactions and miscellaneous natural phenomena that I remember seeing.
These images are testimony: The earth is alive and is being redeemed, even as it groans to be free from the bondage to which our sin has subjected it. We shall all, and both, be released.
– reported by Greg Bowman, then a member of Bally Mennonite Church, Bally, Pa.