MONDAY MEDITATION: “Pick Up All the Litter” (July 26)

Lord, you have done so many things! You made them all so wisely! The earth is full of your creations! – Psalm 104:24

One morning when she was five, our daughter Emma went to my study and asked what I was doing. “I’m working on a sermon, trying to hear what Jesus would want me to say to people.” She had an answer. “Make Jesus feel better, and make God happy.” “What would do that?” I asked. She replied, with profound wisdom, “Pick up all the litter.”

I wonder what prompted her to think of that? Had she been to a park and seen a McDonald’s bag on the playground? Who knows? But behind whatever it was, she saw the simple truth: we humans shouldn’t insult God by uglying-up the living artwork all around us.

Psalm 104 is an ode to the natural beauty that is our home. Keeping trash in its place, as well as recycling and “going green,” respects the canvas on which God’s painted.

But we need to remember that we ourselves are part of God’s beautiful creation. “You’ve made [us] only slightly less than divine, crowning [us] with glory and grandeur.” (Psalm 8:5)

Sometimes we find ourselves carrying around needless litter.

Worry, anxiety, depression, despair.

Misplaced anger.

Hurtful assumptions.


And, of course, we can add to the list other pieces of debris that litter our internal landscape like rusting wrecks in a junkyard.

Isn’t carrying around such stuff just as obscene to God as tossing a soda can out of a car?

Maybe we should become aware of the times in a day we find ourselves feeling or thinking things that may insult God’s handiwork.

The Creator is proud of you and cares for you.

Pick up all the litter, and put it in its place.

The trashcan, not the heart.

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