Christine MacDowell sent this note as a “comment” on the blog but I think that it is important enough to be a post so that everyone can read it. Many thanks to her and ongoing prayers for the situation.
Maren, it seems we are entering a quiet week relatively speaking. There is much work to do in cleaning up and re-opening roads, providing resources to townships still cut off from regular supplies, especially fuel to power generators for essentials such as fridges and c-pap (sleep apnoea) machines. There begins the recovery work for those affected, long term compassion and practical aid. Millions of creatures have lost their lives, homes, habitats, some fear extinction is inevitable for certain ones. There is ongoing frustration with how to reduce fuel in the forests when there are fewer days in which is safe to burn, and an increasing interest in cultural burning, the term used for the way the indigenous First Peoples have cared for the forests for millennia. We are only at the start of our hot dry summer – there is every reason to fear for the future. There has been tremendous support in many ways from around the world, the funds raised and promised is staggering. I am writing to you because I hear that rumours and exaggerations are spreading about our situation. Our prayers are for the people, their situations and for wisdom and compassion, justice and hope to walk hand in hand. Thank you for the reminder through your writing of God’s constant loving presence with us and all creation. Blessings to you.
For God’s Creatures in Australia
Job 12:7-8 ‘But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you.’
God in the midst of our grief
for the human beings who have died
in the Australian wildfires,
the homes lost, farms scorched,
and understory blasted,
we pause to pray for
more than a billion creatures
who have died in this season
of dry heat and flame,
because animals do not have
evacuation routes, hardened homes,
We memorialize cockatoos
kangaroo and gliders and frogs,
bats, dunnarts, potoroos,
and green carpenter bees,
and mourn their terrible losses.
We weep with farmers
who bury their cattle and merino sheep,
euthanize those in terrible pain,
and desperately care
for the survivors, wondering,
what they will eat tomorrow —
wild and domestic animal alike?
And we pray in gratitude for rescuers
who detach remaining koala bears
from the skeletons
of eucalyptus trees
and bandage their burned feet
and who slowly and carefully
give water to dehydrated wallabies,
and for the prophets
who cry out for the climate —
that humans shall not hurt or destroy
on holy mountains
or holy Australian bush,
and we learn the creatures’ wisdom,
so the waters cover the land.