Too crazy to hope?

Tsunamis and earthquakes on one side of the world.  On this side of the globe dozens of tornadoes wrecking havoc and death. In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, alone 300 died on Wednesday night from a deadly twister, one of many in the southeast US.  In Mississippi a whole town was wiped out. And many who haven’t suffered tornado strikes have had severe flooding.

I kept waking up throughout Wednesday night, the wind blowing my bedroom porch door open and the thunder driving the dog under the bed.  I was constantly thinking about my son camping out and exposed to the elements on the high  trail somewhere in North Carolina, closer to the worst of it.  Fortunately, an email the next morning said that he had walked off the trail and stayed in a town while the storms and tornadoes barreled through the night.  I was relieved, if tired, and took six detours because of flooded roads or downed trees to get to work that day.

Nature can do terrible damage to life and structures.

In fact, the biblical view of creation is that it too needs saving and healing as much as we humans do.  While one scripture writer speaks of a new heaven and a new earth, the apostle Paul writes more in terms of renewal. He says all creation anticipates the day when it will join God’s children in being freed from death and decay.  Well there sure is a lot of death and decay after the storms of the last few weeks. Creation, as much as I love it, needs freeing from something!

Was it only last Sunday that we read about an earthquake in Matthew’s gospel?  Here the earthquake was not destructive at all.  This earthquake was on the side of life and moved the stone covering the tomb where Jesus had been laid to reveal that her Lord was raised from death and decay.

Amazing, isn’t it?  The possibility that Christ died not just for human’s healing, but for creation’s healing too.  The possibility that all creation has a vested interest in Christ’s resurrected, life-giving power.  That there will come a day when polluted bays, and endangered species and contaminated soils and compromised air quality will be renewed. That the resurrection is about all of life, even a renewed life for the quaking earth. At least, that seems to be the apostle Paul’s view of things.

I love the world we live in, and so as you and I care for creation, we are actually participating in God’s resurrection purpose to make all things new. Participating like the stone-rolling, tomb-side earthquake. Participating like the women running off to tell the good news of Christ risen to the others.  Participating on the side of what is to come. Yes, God’s life-giving power has broken into the world, is still breaking into the world and things will never be the same.  One day the full force of what God is doing to restore and redeem will be known in full.

But now I don’t fully know what God’s up to and am living in hope that perhaps there will be a day when we can watch in fascination and awe as tornadoes always and instinctively jump over towns and sleeping hikers on the trail, like a dance.  If it were true, I would sure sleep better at night.  Is that too crazy to hope?