How nice it was to enjoy the shade of that big leafy almond tree in front of the kindergarten courtyard in San Gonzalo, Rio de Janeiro. The summer temperatures easily surpassed the 44 degrees Celsius (110 Fahrenheit) and the kids could happily play under the tree’s freshness avoiding the sun rays’ intensity.
As the tree branches were growing unevenly, I asked the caretaker to prune them so that the tree would look nicer. I left to take care of some church business and afterwards I came back to a tremendous surprise, the man in fact pruned the tree, he decimated the branches and left it on its trunk. When I asked him why he had exaggerated so much in his pruning he answered: “Captain, this way we’ll have less leaves to sweep”.
Thank God a couple of years later the branches grew back, the shade was restored and there was no further consequence. Sad however is to realize that in our days many people neglect the care of nature provoking irreversible harm to the environment. Several species once abundant are now near extinction and some no longer exist.
The Bible teaches that God gave us nature to enjoy it, but also to take care of it. As good stewards of the natural resources we must care for them, protecting the flora and the fauna. When we ignore these teachings, we jeopardize the future of the planet and consequently the future generations.
Maybe we cannot influence over the amazon deforestation, but we can participate of the selective waste collection, the responsible use of water, the acquisition of less toxic products, and other actions that may seem small but reveal our great love for the creation and its creator. If we take care of nature, nature takes care of us.
(The care of nature, Genesis 1:28-30 – The care of the fields, Leviticus 25:2-4)