Man’s Call

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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:
Stony dread!
And her locks cover’d with grey despair.

Prison’d on watry shore
Starry Jealousy does keep my den
Cold and hoar
Weeping o’er
I hear the Father of the ancient men

Selfish father of men
Cruel, jealous, selfish fear
Can delight
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
Selfish! vain!
Eternal bane!
That free Love with bondage bound.

8 thoughts on “Man’s Call

  • I believe that the above biblical quote that you mention, has never been translated correctly from the original Greek. If you look a word up today in a dictionary, or other source, you see several different words or ideas which are suppose to represent that word. Right?? The so called “dominion over the earth” was meant to be translated as “dominion over the part of man that came from the earth”, not the earth and her other children! Man has used this quote to do as he wished, to become a tyrant and abuser of the earth, and all the life upon her. It is only when man realizes the need for harmony in the life that he is creating, will there come to be the chance of now the survival of All.

  • This is the crux of the pain and sorrow that is seemingly inescapable no matter where you hide in the world. There are different ways that people deal with it, but until some of us grow up, as you said, we are all going to be trying our different ineffective coping mechanisms of dealing with the shame of being out of place. The only way to truly get out of this self-destructive state is to get into the right place in relation to God.

    This is not a matter of joining a particular organization or prescribing to a particular set of beliefs, it is really a matter of personal responsibility, and a matter of being sensitive enough to know how to be in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. If you’re wondering how you could possibly know this there is this very helpful blog I know of that has a few years worth of daily articles that answer that very question… Yet, initially, it is a matter of seeing where you can make every situation better than when you left it. That might seem very basic but it is a place to start, but it is immensely scalable.

  • To face the stark facts you illuminate in this post can be daunting, and yet if we can let that awareness come to a clear point we find that we do occupy that point. In other words, as long as we live individually, there is something to be accomplished by our presence.

    Surely the image of the earth with all its beauty and wonder toiling and wounded by human abuse is heartbreaking, but perhaps the intensity of the image can serve to awaken a sense of enfolding responsibility. So great the need for healing but so precious the privilege of vision and understanding! Let’s not lose a moment of opportunity to represent the kind and glorious Reality of God on earth!

  • Brilliant analogy of humans being a transformer between God and Earth! I believe this is possible. We have some excellent areas of clarity to begin with. Judgement is not our concern whereas forgiveness and appreciation are necessities. The greatest blessing is it begins individually and creates a unique part of this transformative course of action. Another is the unwavering confidence in the power of God.

  • Your post today reminds me of how much I love the earth, nature, the animals and people. It’s tragic what has become of all of these things and I feel it’s my responsibility to do my part in making things right. Thanks for sharing this beautiful poem. We can either be stewards or destroyers. I choose the former.

  • I’m disturbed by your comment – Even the priesthoods who claim to represent His will are corrupt to the core, despite their fervency. – The priests I know have such reverence and sacrifice for their flocks that they often go without to provide the teaching and instruction that the sheep need. I only hope that you will one day see how while we are all human and fall short. The sheep are only as good as the instruction they receive and to be a luke warm Christian is not the path to salvation. If you have a priest that is not living up to his vows you need to pray for him.

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