Thursday, May 28, 2015

Treading Lightly

Holy One, cleave our hearts and open them to the prophetic, earth changing words of Bryce Wiebe.

Treading Lightly
by Bryce Wiebe

“The Earth quakes before them”  Joel 2:10

Sixteen hours before technological magic caused these words to move from my fingers to the tiny specs of light via rafts of “1’s” and “0’s” on rivers of metalloids cutting through sand-turned-silicon, there was an earthquake in Langston, Oklahoma.  The red dirt of central Oklahoma was where my grandmother moved after remarrying in her 70s.  Our family used to drive there to visit each New Year, through mesas and wheat fields and parched pastures specked with oil derricks and gas well.  With few trees dotting that garden of dust and wispy grass God planted there, the whole landscape seemed heavy and fixed, then pressed down by such a big sky.  Or maybe it was the sky being supported by such a sturdy clay pedestal.

And now it shakes.  Everyday.  Perhaps 16 hours before you read these words.  Perhaps as you read them.

The experts say that hydraulic fracturing cannot be definitively blamed.  The now poisoned water formed by the process; a resource destroyed for the sake of a resource extracted, must be shot back down into Earth as a slicing, high-speed vertical river of techno-industrial creativity.  And this must not be a problem since no one ever bothered to see if it was a problem.  Could it be this river has pried loose the base of the pedestal and now it wobbles under the pressure of all that sky? The energy and economic needs of America require that we not look into it.  For the sake of un-flickering electricity, ever-fattening homes, complete with fixed temperatures and pressed down by as much cheap stuff as can fit in them, we cannot look.  Perhaps we can move fast enough to not notice Earth shaking.  Perhaps bigger homes and more things will finally hold Earth still again; press her back into control. 

Or maybe we, having already pried the pedestal free, must tread lightly.  Shut off our lights and slim down our homes and use those things we already have.  Perhaps Earth can be restored when we move tip-toe slow.  We can, for the first time, float on new visions and dreams down a Spirit stream, poured out among a people made of the same clay that we now see steadied and still.


The PEC Steering Committee appreciates the work of Bryce Wiebe who served as Associate for the Enough for Everyone Program with the Presbyterian Hunger Program for 18 months up through March 1.  Bryce now serves as manager of Special Offerings for the Presbyterian Mission Agency.  Special Offerings include One Great Hour of Sharing, which largely funds the Presbyterian Hunger Program and Environmental Ministries, as well as Self-Development of People and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.  We congratulate Bryce!!

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