Rachel Crandell Sustainability 
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I trusted that truth, realizing that the spiritual concept of a blade of grass, a star, or my trees, was unchanging, eternal.

If I were going to see the effects of this metaphysical truth, I realized I couldn't harbor any resentment. I couldn't blame the farmer for doing something harmful if I was going to be trusting God that no harm could come to His creation. I had to love the farmer as much as I loved the trees. I had to let Love govern my thought if I was going to see the effects of Love. I needed to forgive, and that reminded me of one of the Bible's great stories of environmental disaster overcome.

You might know the story of Joseph being unjustly attacked by his brothers, thrown into a pit, and sold into slavery. Later he was falsely accused of rape and condemned to prison. During Joseph's hardships we never hear anything about him holding vengeful thoughts or wanting to get even for the injustices done to him. He was known in the prison as a revealer of dreams, and that became his ticket out of prison. Pharoah had had a disturbing dream about fat and skinny cows and good and withered corn that none of his wise men could explain. So Joseph was brought before Pharoah to interpret the dream. But Joseph claimed no wisdom of his own. He said, "It is not in me: God shall give an answer of peace." He was able to interpret the dream as a warning of impending environmental disaster in the form of 7 years of drought and famine. He eventually became the second in command in all Egypt solving the problem and feeding the people.

I love to think about Joseph's experience as a model for me to follow. He began by asking God for answers, not blaming anyone. When Pharoah heard the meaning of the dream, he thought Joseph was wise and put him in charge of solving the problem. What Joseph really was was willing to listen to God. And because of this guidance or wisdom, Joseph was given the opportunity, authority and ideas to solve a huge problem which not only would benefit the people of Egypt, but all the people in that part of the world including Joseph's own brothers that had wronged him so badly years earlier. Joseph was able to hear God's voice because he had loved and forgiven his brothers, and because he had not given into the temptations of Potiphar's wife. He had been meeting the moral and spiritual demands made upon him, and so he was ready.

"How about me?" I thought. "Was I ready? Did I love enough, trust enough, listen enough?" Joseph was able to meet the environmental crisis by listening to God. He had the Egyptians build barns and collect grain for the first seven good years and store it for the seven years of famine, ready when the need came. Those were human actions, but divinely guided ones, and they enabled Joseph to provide food and save lives. I asked myself, "Could I learn from Joseph's experience? Could I forgive the farmer's poor judgment, spraying on a windy day? Could I trust God so completely that I could stop fearing for my trees?" That became my prayer, to forgive and trust God completely.

Well, as the weeks went by those curled up leaves dried and fell off and all new leaves grew back. Not one tree was lost! Not just the big ones, but even the seedlings, and in all our yards, not one tree was lost. Victors! It seemed to me like a microcosm of the world, a peek at how the Truth applied could sustain even the forests, the oceans, and the skies.


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