Lenten Devotion: April 1

Liberation with the Earth

— By Gabbi Pohlman

A theme that has permeated through all of my classes in Divinity School is interconnectedness.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth … God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

Genesis 1

When addressing the injustices plaguing our world, we must not forget intersectionality, or the compounding effects. One of the things that feels existentially important in this moment is ecological justice. Care for the earth is in turn care for our neighbors across the globe. 

Liberation theology teaches when there is genuine love between individuals and one suffers unjustly, the other should share in that suffering until the injustice is resolved. If relationships are established within the larger community – our common creation home – the cries of the earth cannot be ignored. The Earth is crying out for its family, which shares the same matter, to see the unjust crusades waged to plunder her resources. As the late Paul Farmer states “poverty is neither innocent nor natural,” we must remember that exploitation of any part of creation is unjust.

Through a desire to fabricate false senses of comfort and security, humans have overstepped the bounds of their role within the cosmic community and taken ostensibly more than what is due unto them. This process is not natural nor within Divine intention.  Those crying out in suffering must be heard. After that, the hearers should continue to position their lives to accompany them in opposing injustice and conceiving flourishing existence for all creation. 

God, would you open our eyes to the universe around us. Could you take our vision beyond what is visible to see the more profound complexities that make us alive? To take our eyes away from ourselves and fellow humans in our monoculture. To know and value the worth of the creatures living with us. To move away from monocultures and instead yearn for diversity. May we see the beauty in everything. May we hold the suffering and pain of the world in tension with that beauty. May we have eyes to see beyond what is visible – to see the ties that bind all living things together.  Would you no longer let us turn away or become numb to reality. After awakening to these truths, may we never attempt to tranquilize ourselves back to ignorance. Amen.