Shalom and the Community of Creation

This is the title of a book written by a friend of mine: Shalom and the Community of Creation by Dr Randy S. Woodley. Grand Rapids, MI. : Eerdmans, 2012. Randy is Distinguished Professor of Faith and Culture at Portland Seminary. He’s a Keetoowah Cherokee.

“Once upon a time in America, fishermen knew how to read the skies; sailors navigated by the stars; crops were planted and harvested according to the moon and upon naturally calculated estimations of rain and sun. In the modern world only the local weather person now makes his or her living based upon predicting nature. Most of us live insulated from the conversation with creation…” (p. 48)

“Conversation with creation” is a phrase that makes me wonder. Although I would not want it any other way, I am writing this in a warm house, in the kitchen, 15 feet from a packed refrigerator with the teapot warming on the stove and the dishwasher running.

Outside? The temperature is near freezing. Alternately snow and sleet are falling from the sky from which I live in isolation, according to Randy. But, like I said, I don’t want to live outside in this weather. I’d probably spend all of my time in the sweat lodge!

I’m looking outside looking past the lawn, and the rose bushes properly trimmed, and the ornamental cherry tree with nascent buds waiting for just the right time to open, across the clean culdesac at my car that runs well and would carry me in comfort to wherever I want to go.

Ask Randy or someone in the Chinookan or Sahaptian tribes when the salmon will run and they may well say “when the dogwood blooms.”

Recognizing that we are part of the “Community of Creation” may just help to change our perspective on how we fit on this blue planet/earth/sacred home.

Council Island in the Missouri River where Native Americans would come to restore and reconcile.

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