Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You who kill the prophets and stone those who were sent to you.
How often I wanted to gather your people together, just as a hen gathers
her chicks under her wings. But you didn’t want that.
Matthew 23:37 (CEB)
I grew up in Florida. Not at Disney World or on some white sand beach. I grew up in REAL Florida. My dad owned a swamp buggy, and we would spend hours driving through the swamps and strands checking on tree stands and corn spreaders. Once you left the safety of the buggy, you knew there would be snakes, bugs and the occasional alligator. But the thing you were most afraid of was the momma gator. You better not come close to her nest of eggs — any proximity to her nest, and she would turn off her nonchalant charm and become aggressively defensive to protect her hatchlings. You don’t want to mess with a momma gator.
And now, being a mother myself, I find that you don’t want to mess with this momma, either. The suburban wilderness that surrounds me is not so wild. But my protective mothering kicks into gear in the face of bullying, name-calling, and even though I am ashamed to admit it — my place in the car line. But us mommas share this deep mothering connection. The hens, the alligators, the humans — if you mess with one of our babies, you mess with us all.
Climate change affects all of our babies — from the tiniest baby bird to the biggest baby whale.
Just as my heart cries out in anguish alongside mothers at the border being separated from their children. Mothers in war-afflicted countries. Mothers who have lost their children due to gun violence. Mothers without access to formula to feed their babies. My heart also hurts for our children who are inheriting a world that we have not cared for like we should.
Action: Use the Your Life and Climate Change tool to see how the climate has changed in your life and what it will look like for your child’s life.
Prayer: Dear God, a chicken wing isn’t much of a defense against climate change. Even the meanest momma gator can’t combat global warming. Give us the courage and strength and fortitude to fiercely protect our children from a weather-worn world. Amen.
Kelly Fitzgerald is a PC(USA) pastor who lives on Florida’s coast reveling in God’s creation with every glorious sunset.
This year’s Path of Peace reflections are designed to help participants explore peacemaking efforts addressing some of the major issues of our time. The theme for the 29 days of the 2022 A Season of Peace is Led Forth in Peace: Critical Areas of Engagement for Peacemakers. With these daily reflections, we are invited to reflect upon ways to practice peace by engaging the following critical areas:
- Climate change
- The intersection of poverty and racism