Monday, August 14, 2017

In the Eyes of Your Children


I
Worship the Creator of the Alligator,
but do not worship the alligator.
You may admire the alligator,
the movement of its body,
the feeling of its skin,
the long mouth and white teeth,
but save your prayer for God.
And when you pray to the Creator of the Alligator,
say within your heart,
“Thank you, God, for the alligator,
for I know that it is your creation,
and that all the animals on the Earth
are made for your own wise purposes,
and it is right for me to live among living things.”
It is good for you to admire the alligator.
Admire also the bird, the lion,
the snake, the ox, the dog,
and all the creatures on the Earth
and above the earth
and beneath the earth
and even admire the wasp
which your children fear,
for the buzzing insect
is also the handiwork of God.
II
Worship the Maker of the Mountain
but do not worship the mountain.
You may admire the mountain,
the sheer size of it,
the permanence of its location,
the line it makes against the sky,
but save your prayer for God.
And when you pray to the Maker of the Mountain,
say within your heart,
“Thank you, God, for the mountain,
for I know that it is your creation,
and that all the land formations on the Earth
are made for your own wise purposes,
and it is right for me to live on the land.”
It is good for you to admire the mountain.
Admire also the island, the hill,
the plain, the valley, the cave,
and all the geological arrangements
throughout every part of the earth
and even admire the handful of dirt
which falls between your children’s fingers,
for the scoop of earth
is also the handiwork of God.
III
Worship the Giver of the River,
but do not worship the river.
You may admire the river,
its winding course,
the rise and fall of the water,
and the fish that swim within it,
but save your prayer for God.
And when you pray to the Giver of the River,
say within your heart,
“Thank you, God, for the river,
for I know that it is your creation,
and that all the water on the Earth
is made for your own wise purpose
and it is right for me to live with water.”
It is good for you to admire the river.
Admire also the lake, the pond,
the ocean, the waterfall, the geyser,
and all the vessels and conveyers of water
in every inch of the earth
and even admire the gathering of raindrops
which your children splash in,
for the momentary puddle
is also the handiwork of God.
IV
Worship the Grower of the Oak Tree,
but do not worship the oak tree.
You may admire the oak tree,
its dark and scaly bark,
its trunk towering toward heaven,
and the delicate nests within its branches,
but save your prayer for God.
And when you pray to the Grower of the Oak Tree,
say within your heart,
“Thank you, God, for the oak tree,
for I know that it is your creation,
and that all the vegetation on the Earth
is made for your own wise purpose
and it is right for me to live among vegetation.”
It is good for you to admire the oak tree.
Admire also the pine tree, the apple tree,
the palm tree, the bush, the cactus,
and all the plants that cover the earth
and even admire the blade of grass
which your children pluck
and hold to their lips,
for the small green sprout
is also the handiwork of God.
V
Live simply on the Earth,
and when God calls you in the quiet of the evening,
approach God who is in the heart of the alligator,
approach God who is on the mountain’s peak,
approach God who is in the sound of the rushing river,
approach God who is in the spirit of the oak tree,
and finally,
approach God who is in the eyes of your children.

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