I am your mother, do not neglect me!
Children protect me – I need your trust;
my breath is your breath, my death is your death,
ashes to ashes, dust into dust
I am your nurture: do not destroy me!
Love and enjoy me, savor my fruit;
my good is your good, my food is your food,
water and flower, branches and root.
I am your lodging; do not abuse me!
Tenderly use me, soothing my scars;
my health is your health, my wealth is your wealth,
shining with promise, set among stars.
God is our maker; do not deny God,
challenge, defy God, threaten this place;
life is to cherish, care, or we perish!
I am your mother, tears on my face.
Words©1996 Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL
This hymn was written by Shirley Erena Murray in 1996. Shirley is a native of New Zealand and has written many hymns appearing in a variety of denominational hymnals. She writes about this hymn: “Living in New Zealand, with its “green” culture and Maori creation stories, I feel strongly about the “ theology of the earth: This is written in the first person to compel attention!”
As you consider this creation hymn, I suggest you study carefully Psalm 24:1-2; Romans 8:18-25; and the biblical creation stories in Genesis 1-2:4. Ask yourself these questions:
How is the earth “groaning” today and why?
How do I see my responsibility to care for God’s earth?
How can I become an advocate for environmentally-sound behavior and use of the earth?
What is the relationship between Christian stewardship and environmental justice?
What action steps can I take in my home and community now? What political action is
necessary within our own government to stem the abuse of our planet?
Let us share together this prayer: Creator God, thank you for all you have created. I’m sorry when I have misused your creation. Please forgive me. May I work to see that the earth is preserved for the needs of future generations. I pray that the greed of current governments, corporations, and individuals will not destroy this earth. Help me be an advocate for justice for your creation. Guide and lead me on this journey to challenge the forces that would destroy the earth. In your name, I pray. Amen.
Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence
Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.