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Yesterday, a massive tornado tore through Tuscaloosa, Alabama, leaving a trail of tears and devastation in its wake.
A week ago, I was scheduled to be on a plane at Lambert airport in St. Louis with my son when another tornado ripped a section of roof off Terminal C as severe storms swept across the region. We had decided not to travel that day so I was at home catching part of the NBA play-offs. To be honest, I wasn’t fully engaged in prayer about what was going on outside even though tornado sirens were blaring. Why not? The local tv stations showed that our home wasn’t directly in the path of danger, so it was easy to go right on with life.
A call from time4thinkers.com’s editor roused me into action last night. “Will you get a Prayer Watch going about the recent storms?” she asked. “Sure,” I replied, “but what are we asking people to pray about? Tornados? Flooding? Fires in Texas?” “How ‘bout ALL OF THE ABOVE?” I heard myself say before she could answer! News events over the past year replayed in my mind: record flooding in Pakistan, Australia, southern France, and South Africa; record heat in Russia and California; wildfires across the southern US - to name a few! Many scientists are seeing a bigger pattern related to oceans warming as green house gases build up and earth’s temperatures climb. There are predictions that the weather extremes we’re seeing will grow much more violent over time (visit www.climateprogress.org, for news and reports).
This is definitely a time for spiritual thinkers to be awake and praying about these issues. One crucial step is refusing to be overwhelmed or apathetic - two sides of the same coin resulting in mental resignation. Mary Baker Eddy wrote to her church at the turn of the 20th century, “Many sleep who should keep themselves awake and waken the world. Earth’s actors change earth’s scenes;…”  So, what are some spiritual facts we can help each other be awake to right now regarding climate change and weather extremes? I hope as many as possible will share their thoughts and prayers on this topic.
To get things started, let me offer one word that rang in my thought this morning as I was praying about the environment: meekness. Jesus said that the meek would “inherit the earth.” I’ve got to believe that the earth he was speaking of was a blessed, balanced, bountiful earth rather than the stirred-up version we’re seeing right now. What could genuine meekness do to change humanity’s relationship with the environment? I think of meekness as a “moderating” quality in consciousness that tempers the aggressive tendencies and extremes of human nature. It’s interesting that both Moses and Jesus — two examples of spiritually-empowered meekness at its best — were able to calm storms and part waves, restoring peace and stability to the environment. Christian Science shows the link between the mental atmosphere we are all contributing to each day — call it the “atmosphere of thought” — and the atmosphere we tend to think of as “out there” producing the weather.
Eddy, who prayed about weather for her community and the world regularly, once commented: “the atmosphere of the human mind, when cleansed of self and permeated with divine Love, will reflect this purified subjective state in clearer skies, less thunderbolts, tornadoes, and extremes of heat and cold” . We’re all contributing to this mental atmosphere every day, with every thought we think. So, tackling extremes of weather can begin now by addressing the extremes of thought that tempt us to “blow up” with anger or “puff up” with pride or “burn up” with resentment. Expressing the Christly meekness Jesus embodied is a powerful starting point for neutralizing these extremes within and without.
Topics: Prayerwatch, World Issues | Tags: fires, flooding, floods, hurricane, tornado, tsunami, weather, wildfires