Sometimes we fail to see that an entire created world can lead us to prayer. We don’t need to look far for it because often it’s in our own home or yard. This week, let’s pray with creation.
When you tend a plant, you are fulfilling one of your purposes as a human being on this earth. The Book of Genesis tells the story of God creating the world; Adam and Eve represent humanity, and the garden there in paradise represents the created world. Adam and Eve are charged with care of the garden. This earth is under our care, and too often we have damaged it rather than cared for it. But when we water our potted flowers or prune foliage when it’s time or plant seedlings and harvest fruit, we are doing holy work. This can be a prayerful time.
So when you tend your garden or go to a U-Pick blueberry patch or apple orchard, consider this your time of communion with God. Do your work mindfully, not rushed, and not with a million other things on your mind. You can pray as you simply sit in your back yard and admire the begonias. You can pray as you prepare a meal from the fresh produce.
When you deal tenderly with creatures, you are also doing holy work. If you’re a farmer caring for cattle, sheep, pigs, or other, you can carry out your work in a number of ways. If you consider this work holy, not just a job but part of your role in caring for creation, then you will look at your practices in a certain light. If your main connection to creatures is a pet dog or cat, you are nevertheless caring for creation when you care for that pet. And whether you’re doing the chores of a farmer or doing the daily tasks of a pet owner, you can treat these actions as prayer, as your connection with God the creator.
I have learned to pray while cuddling pets. What better thing can I do with this moment than allow the cat to sit on my lap and nuzzle me and let me rub her belly and talk to her? I’m not saying that talking to the cat is the same as talking to God, but I do believe that my communion with a creature can be experienced as an extension of my communion with the creator. When I marvel at the perfect ears, the intricate patterns of color in her fur, and the eyes that look straight into mine, my soul is doing good work, even prayerful work.
How do you pray with creation?