Nature is Overflowing
by Jo Randolph with Rick Randolph
“Look! Nature is overflowing with the grandeur of God!” John Muir
My husband and I were blessed to be able to travel this past August. We floated the Grand Canyon, an eight day adventure – experiencing the grandeur of God, the power of water, the majesty of the canyons, and the haunting acoustics of the music of a four-string quartet. Beautiful sounds with seven concerts performed in caves, canyons, and even while floating through the Granite Narrows.
A “thin place,” more commonly a location, is one in which there is an undeniable connection to the Sacred. Who would associate “thin” with the majestic Grand Canyon? As we began our 226-mile float, the canyon greeted us as an object of awe and majesty and we felt totally insignificant. How could we possibly matter in comparison to something so massive and seemingly eternal?
We became immersed, in more ways than one, and found our thoughts directed to that which is Holy. “Set apart for the service of God.” Experiencing the Colorado River and this grand canyon, as representative of our relationship with God and the sacred. Our horizons formed by the cold, silty Colorado River and its rapids, the upper walls of the canyon, the expanse of the blue sky above, a star-filled sky each night and a warm sunrise each morning, we became one with this sacred place. Through our choice to enter wholly and completely into the canyon and its waters, we experienced the power of the canyon. Facing a wind/hail/rain storm with rocks falling from the canyon sides into what would be our next morning path, we understood the canyon is alive, dynamic and always changing, as is our relationship with God, and with the Sacred.
O our mother the earth, O our father the sky.
Your children are we, and with tired backs
We bring you gifts that you love.
Then weave for us a garment of the brightness.
May the warp be the white light of morning,
May the weft be the red light of the evening,
May the fringes be the falling rain, May the border be the standing rainbow.
Thus weave for us a garment of the brightness
That we may walk fittingly where grass is green,
O our mother the earth, O our father the sky!
TEWA PUEBLO PRAYER
Jo Randolph is a lifelong passionate defender of creation. A member of Heartland Presbytery's Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, Overland Park, she led them to become a PCUSA Earth Care Congregation in 2011 and continues to renew the commitment every year since.
Rick Randolph is a family physician with a certificate in Public Health. A member of many different environmental organizations, he speaks on the effects of climate change on health and poverty. He is currently chair of the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group.