Many of us are spending more time than usual at home at the moment. For some that’s a strict isolation. For some, it’s because work and other activities have been put on hold. Homes are really important to us, and I’m thankful to have a secure home.
Someone recently told me they’d had to move out of their accommodation because the family they lodged with were fearful that the person’s work would expose them to the coronavirus. The story made me sad.
Nature needs a home too. I love the verses in Psalm 84 that describe God offering a home to the birds in his own temple: ‘Even the sparrow has made a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young – a place near your altar’. I imagine the sparrows noisily hopping about and dodging the crowds in the temple courtyards, while the swallows swoop in under the magnificent colonnades.
In the market square of the town where I live there are two shops of identical size next to each other. One has protective netting fixed under its eaves. The other has five house martin nests. That one is Tui Travel. I love that. After all, the martins have really travelled (across Africa, the Mediterranean and Europe) to make a home for their young there. I went into the shop to say how delighted I was that they hadn’t put up netting. The person at the desk was a bit rueful: ‘They do make a bit of mess’. So I thanked him for living with it, and he was pleased.
We could each of us have a part to play in making sure nature has a home, as God intended, and encouraging others to do the same, even if it means our balconies, gardens and green spaces look a bit untidy or a little on the wild side.
Giving nature a home might make ‘a bit of a mess’. Sometimes it’s when our lives can feel less than tidy, a bit of a mess, when plans have turned out differently from what we’d hoped, that God has space to be in our lives, finding room to make them his home.
This reflection was written by Andy Jowitt for the Wild Christian email, ‘Nature and home.’ Andy Jowitt is the Volunteer Community Engagement Officer for Foxearth Meadows Nature Reserve
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