Intentional Community and Creation Care: Loving Your Neighbor

Families come into being naturally. So, too, it seems, does Nature create families of her own.

Some of you may remember a few weeks back, when I mentioned the idea of “revamping community residency.” I was in a communication class at the time, and sought to use my opportunities to encourage my spiritual siblings towards what I felt would enliven them and their experience of living on Earth. So I gave a speech on Creation Care. And I found, as I spoke through the passion that God gave me to understand Creation Care and the Church’s necessary role in that, that I am still obviously processing through what it means to be not just a personally responsible steward, but what it will take to encourage Christian unity behind the issue. And I also found just how much raw passion, excitement, and experience is already ripening among the Church’s members to work  together; how that interdependent reality of Nature is reflecting and reflected by the interdependent identity of the Church and her members.

You see, one of my friends in the class not only shared the same passion, but had also been drawn through the idea of community and how partnership and relationships take initiative, peace, patience, investment and time to grow–much like any other living thing on Earth. The same driving force that draws us to care for Creation is the very driving force that calls us to love our neighbors. And this can be seen quite practically from a number of angles. For example, Glory’s act of baking.

She loves to bake. The problem is, her husband also loves to eat what she bakes. That may not be a problem for most of us, I admit, but what is spurred was a measure of grace and initiative for community building; Glory now shares whatever she bakes that very day with whomever of her community she happens to be around. In the same act that Glory saves money by making things in-bulk, and saving energy by baking them all at the same time, and saving natural plant resources by using organic, all-natural ingredients, etc., she is fostering the community that people desire to share in response. In an act of creating community, she is also guarding Creation. And she doesn’t even have to be intentional about both!

Baking can be a practical, memorable, and fun way to engage your neighbors.

Interdependence is natural, and I think we’ll find that the more we seek to love our neighbors, the more we authentically care for Creation. And the more we care for Creation, the more we authentically love our neighbors. Somewhere in modern history, or more likely in a gradual manner, our Western mindset has divided community and Creation as if they are separate. God is obviously revealing that such is a false dichotomy. We are, indeed, all in these things together, and what affects a part affects the whole.  Creation is our neighbor, and our neighbors are a part of Creation. Just love one, and we love both. That is what I call “Just Love.”