The Accidental Green Life

How Christian Piety Can Grace the Earth

If we, like Merton, accept the invitation of solitude, even for as little as 10 minutes a day as Barton suggests, and especially by retreating to an outdoors place, we might also experience such promise and joy. We might find ourselves saying, along with Wisdom who was with God at the dawn of creation, "I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world" (Proverbs 8:30-31).

What kind of wise craftsmen could we really be though? After all, the created world is already created, and our own powers have clear limitations. What could we do at God's side today besides rejoice in and love his work? Not that rejoicing and loving end in passivity. As Erik Reece, secular writer of Lost Mountain: A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness observes, "No one will fight to save something one does not love."


When Paul discusses the supremacy of Christ in Colossians, he begins with creation, telling us that "by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible …" We discover that God spoke creation into being through Christ. But Paul goes on to say, "in him all things hold together," so we see Christ's creative activity goes on through his acts of sustenance, day after day. Creation is still happening.

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