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Our mandate is to be stewards

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Ned Walsh’s op-ed, “Climate ignorance is not bliss,” reminded me that the “cultural mandate” in Genesis can and often is understood as a license to exploit rather than as a charge of stewardship over the earth.

His piece also caused me to think about why it is I choose stewardship, as much as it is in my power to do so.

Among other things, I remember all those beautiful hymns celebrating the beauty of nature, of “all creatures great and small,” that I sang in church as a child. Those songs touched me in a way that other hymns didn’t, maybe because I, too, was small.

I understood much more keenly the beauty of a spring morning as opposed to what it might mean to be a “Christian soldier, marching as to war.” “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” seemed to speak of every single thing in creation — especially the smallest — as wrapped in the creator’s love and, thus, worthy of protection.

Now, sadly, climate change, which we humans have had a hand in creating, is destroying a world we should care for — or so those songs told me.

So I thank Ned for his plea about stewardship and for alerting you to a nonpartisan organization that I, too, am a part of — the Johnston County chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. We regularly speak to local groups and to our local, state and federal representatives about ways to reverse the destruction of “all things bright and beautiful.” These ways do not put people last, but they do acknowledge that, as stewards of the earth, we have a responsibility to a wider and vastly beautiful creation. Its harm is our harm. We invite you to join us.

Deborah Hooker

Clayton

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