Saginaw Bay, Michigan by Gregg Hake © All Rights Reserved
I found myself considering the relationship of earth to man and man to God while flying back from northern Michigan the other day, asking questions like: “If man is supposed to have dominion over the Earth and all that dwells therein, why does the earth suffer so under his rule” and “If nature could see past man to God would she see Him as man does, that is, authoritarian, benevolent yet occasionally destructive, capricious, critical and distant?”
My great hope is that one day man will faithfully represent God to the Earth and the Earth to God, that the mystery of God can finally be finished on Earth. To achieve this noble and lofty purpose, man must come to terms with the internal conflict that he projects not only on the natural kingdoms, but on the Kingdom of Heaven, if not on God Himself. He must see that his fear and avarice are the direct result of his dislocation, of his stubborn refusal to occupy the place in creation for which he was designed.
It is not God’s will that any should feel pain or suffering for any reason whatsoever, in fact, all of man’s woes are self-inflicted. God’s will is translated through the hearts and minds of men, stepped down like a transformer which transfers electricity from one voltage to another. Man was designed to represent God at this level of creation, to “be” God to the earth yet he has abandoned this responsibility and abused this privilege for thousands of years. As with any mechanism that is used improperly, it, that is, we fail with alarming regularity to make an accurate translation.
In this state, the will of God is rarely represented on earth through men. Even the priesthoods who claim to represent His will are corrupt to the core, despite their fervency. The situation is dire, but every once in a while a scene like the one (poorly) pictured above or a poem like the one (brilliantly) written below draws back the curtain just enough to catch a glimpse of what is possible were we to get out of our own way.
The Earth is doing all she can to hold on until we get our act together, but she can only hold on for so long. She has been forced to serve a cruel master, but has done so forgivingly and unbegrudgingly, as a dog yields the entirety of its being to a volatile and abusive owner. She would perhaps attribute this to a tyrannical God were she conscious to that level, but the truth of the matter is that we have been bastard tyrants for far too long and it is time for at least some of us to grow up.
Earth’s Answer by William Blake
Earth rais’d up her head,
From the darkness dread & drear.
Her light fled:
And her locks cover’d with grey despair.
Prison’d on watry shore
Starry Jealousy does keep my den
Cold and hoar
I hear the Father of the ancient men
Selfish father of men
Cruel, jealous, selfish fear
Chain’d in night
The virgins of youth and morning bear.
Does spring hide its joy
When buds and blossoms grow?
Does the sower?
Sow by night?
Or the plowman in darkness plow?
Break this heavy chain,
That does freeze my bones around
That free Love with bondage bound.