By Aidan Paulk, Staff Alumnus 2014 & 2016
It seems fitting to be writing this sandwich on Mother’s day morning as I enjoy the Fremont United Methodist Zoom church service alongside my mom, a woman who has exemplified the grace of God through loving me unconditionally and forgiving me on so many occasions. I’m grateful to have had a person in my life who has shown me such love, and as I reflect upon it, I find I know God because I know love. It is my belief anyone can know God if they only know love.
“I find I know God because I know love. It is my belief anyone can know God if they only know love.”
Love comes in many forms. It comes from our mothers, fathers, siblings, friends, and pets. However, these days I often find my relationship with God comes from the love I experience for this beautiful Earth on which we all live.
If God can be thought of as the Father, then surely God can also equally be thought of as the Mother. This earth we live on is indeed our mother too. She gives birth to all life. She feeds our souls with sights of verdant forests, rolling hills, and flowing rivers. I have found such a love for this Earth that I find I do most of my praying while watching a beautiful sunset, swimming in the ocean, or taking hundreds of deep breaths as I run up a steep mountain trail. These moments when I am connected to the Earth are the same moments I feel the love of God.
“These moments when I am connected to the Earth are the same moments I feel the love of God.”
I encourage you to consider the following:
- When or where in nature are the moments you feel most connected to God?
- What distractions in life seem to separate us from having a thriving relationship with the Earth?
- What are the steps, big or small, you can take to strengthen your understanding of God’s love through nature?
- In times like this, when we are being tasked with staying indoors, what is it about the planet we can still be grateful for?
Finally, I encourage you to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and think back to a place or memory of the Earth that was so beautiful it evoked a sense of love within you. Maybe this was a Thursday night Spirit Walk, playing in a river or lake on Wednesday at SSP, or watching scenery from the car window on your way to or from site. Know that God was and is still there; in the hills, valleys, oceans, deserts, stars, canyons, mountains, rivers, forests, and within you.
“As long as we can find a love for our home, for our mother, we can find God.”
We are and always will be of the Earth, which means we will always be a part of God’s loving creation. As long as we can find a love for our home, for our mother, we can find God.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)
Editor’s Note: During this unfamiliar season, nurturing communities of belonging has become more important than ever. To that end, we eagerly announce the SSP summer 2020 theme: “Grounded.” T-shirts will also be available for purchase to the SSP community as a whole, visit our store to learn more.