Noel’s Prayer Page July

A Poem for our Time

Last month I wrote about the Mission Committee’s focus for 2019 on Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) and in the autumn there will be articles about our other charities, the South West Children’s Hospice and Homes that Smile. All these good causes deserve your ongoing prayers. But for this edition, in the light of the Climate Emergency, I am sharing a poem I wrote some time ago, and had meant to read at the recent ECO service taken by Geoff Smith.


We are one species on this earth.
What other has the gift
to see the context of each tree,
each bush, each flower, each bee?

Yet like the dinosaurs, before,
We tear and we destroy.
We foul this nest in which we’re born
Defile land, air and sea.

Yet we are gifted through our minds
to scan the universe,
through telescope and microscope
we study stars and spores.
We found connections in life forms
to quote and note them – illustrate.
Through Darwin’s book and Marten’s brush
the story was retold –
this interlocking life of worms –
our place in it revealed.

Attenborough is now on screen
in almost every home,
Bill Oddie in the fields.
They show the worlds of birds and fish,
or interlocking life of worms –
our place in this – revealed.

Man’s been here o’er a million years
and lived sustainably for most:
until three centuries ago
when engines were deployed.
Then we sought conquest for ourselves
not caring for this earth.
Then we forgot to share the love
That each child’s loaned at birth.

Note: A blue plaque on the front of Exmouth library tells us that Conrad Martens, the artist who accompanied Darwin, once lived on that site, and painted tropical plants growing in the garden there. The accompanying picture is one of his paintings of Exmouth.

LOVING GOD, We, your children, ask forgiveness for polluting wildlife in the eco-system, the air we breathe, the precious water that sustains us and the soil that is theground of being
for life on this precious planet. Our lifestyles are insensitive and the futures of our children are imperilled. Forgive us our trespasses, help us to behave as Jesus taught us, loving our neighbours and reflecting the gift of your Holy Spirit, which flows around us. Amen.