Earth Day 2021 is Thursday, April 22nd. Earth Day has been a growing movement since 1970. This year’s theme is “Restore the Earth.” https://www.earthday.org/
In efforts to help clean and restore the earth since I was a boy, I’ve picked up a lot of litter (bags, bottles, cans, cups, glass, plastic, straws, etc.) – on walks and hikes, along roadways and trails, at beaches and lakes, in mountains and oceans, at parks and playgrounds, in neighborhoods and stadiums. (I kid my wife that it’s my guarantee to get an A-ticket to heaven.) And, I’ve helped to plant a lot of trees (mostly in our backyard or at Wide Horizon), as well as recycled or repurposed many items (as we also do at Wide Horizon – an ever-growing green Christian Science nursing organization). I say this not to boast (as picking up litter isn’t a picnic) but because I’ve always loved order and cleanliness, and I truly love this incredible planet, Mother Earth. Although never a boy scout, for as long as I remember my motto has been “leave it better than you found it.”
The discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, certainly left this world better than she found it. Although the Christian Science church is a comparatively small worldwide movement, the spiritual laws of this Science are universal. Its mission is partly to heal sickness and liberate from sin – to help restore the health and wholeness of human beings. In the “Glossary” of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she gave these definitions which shed a different light on Earth Day:
“EARTH. A sphere; a type of eternity and immortality, which are likewise without beginning or end. To material sense, earth is matter; to spiritual sense, it is a compound idea.” (p. 585)
“DAY. The irradiance of Life; light, the spiritual idea of Truth and Love. ‘And the evening and the morning were the first day.’ (Genesis 1:5) The objects of time and sense disappear in the illumination of spiritual understanding, and Mind measures time according to the good that is unfolded. This unfolding is God’s day, and ‘there shall be no night there.’” (p. 584)
If one accepts that God, Spirit, created man and the earth (Genesis 1), then definitions such as these help to have a different vision of our beautiful planet. Seeing through the lens of Spirit helps one to see various ideas (often unseen through the material senses) in their illumined spiritual light. One can then see more of spiritual reality. This can only help to restore the earth, which is an amazingly perfect idea.
The earth is amazing because oceans, forests, ecosystems and more, can cleanse and restore themselves when humans are not wittingly or unwittingly polluting and spoiling the earth. So, whether you pick up litter, plant a tree, purchase an electric vehicle, invest in renewable energy, or have a good thought followed by restorative action, you can make a difference on this Earth Day and beyond. Regardless, perhaps you’ll agree with me that all the children and creatures on earth deserve our individual and collective efforts to make this world a better place, by genuinely caring for and ultimately nursing our Mother Earth! Will you leave it better than you found it?
D. Brian Boettiger