There have been reports of tornadoes in the Southeastern states overnight and even in Buffalo, NY—near the Great Lakes—the danger is real from wind and rain. Psalm 18 cries out: It is you I call, my God, in this dark hour…The roaring waves of death surrounded me, destroying floods overwhelmed my soul. In trouble and in fear I call out to you.
This is a very long psalm (51 verses) and intertwines our inner struggles with the elements of nature. “I love you, O God, my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer!” The clouds are racing across the sky outside and the sun plays hide-and-seek with the blaring wind: in and out, in and out. It mimics the fear that makes us hide in cellars or in our bathtubs when the wind comes up in gusts (up to 60 mph today). The trees have now joined the fray shaking their heads as if saying “No, no…calm down! You need to pay attention to the storms inside you.” I stop to get in touch with that warning.
Last week I watched a podcast with Al Gore and John Kerry discussing climate issues. I was amazed at their vast knowledge and understanding of the issues and embarrassed at my ignorance of the same. I wonder if we are past the point of saving the world as I remember the commercial from years ago with a picture of a Native American warrior standing on the bank of a polluted stream. On his cheek was a single tear. I don’t even remember the words on the screen but I will never forget that face.
All these disparate images call me to consciousness and to a self-inquiry…I purport to love nature in all her beauty and wildness and to desire her safety from destruction, but right now I am asking myself (as the trees outside still shake their heads at me): What exactly are you willing to do—really—to assist in saving the planet? Can you honestly say, “I love you, O God, my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer?”