So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Natalie sits in an orphanage in Rwanda cuddling a small child to her breast. Natalie is a Tutsi woman. Her family was massacred by a Hutu mob in the genocide. The child she is holding is not her own. It is a Hutu child. Who knows if the child’s parents are dead or if they have been imprisoned for their part in the slaughter? Perhaps this is the child of one of those responsible for the death of Natalie’s family. No matter; Natalie says she is grateful to be alive. This person in her lap is alive and in need of comfort. This small act of love is Natalie’s act of hope. A hug is such an ordinary gesture. It is repeated around the world a million times a day. Natalie’s hug offers a testimony. The ordinary gift of a cuddle stands as witness to goodness. The child’s goodness has not been erased by her people’s deeds. Natalie’s goodness allows her to see, in the face of one who might be considered an enemy, a child who is a good gift from the good God.
Setlist (iTunes links provided)
Lord, you care for all of creation and watch over the earth and its inhabitants day and night. Help us learn to love all things created by your hand. Teach us that we are part of a larger tapestry woven together for the good of all. And may we be empowered to create as you have created us. Amen.