There are many human activities that I think can be classified
as angel messages in action. They are examples of sustainable activities
motivated by caring people to restore and protect our world. These
angel messages make me smile.
- When I read that the trumpeter swan has returned from the brink
of extinction and that a conservation organization paid the lease
for the timber rights on 200,000 acres of tropical forest in Guyana
to keep it from being logged, I smile.
- When I find out that legislation has passed to grant fishermen
a fixed percentage of the total catch that scientists determine
can be sustainably harvested each year so the fisheries can recover,
or that another law has encouraged the biggest fleet of express
transport trucks in the US to replace 45,000 vehicles with diesel-electric
hybrids that will cut tailpipe pollution by 90%, I smile.
- When I am told that a federal district judge ruled that it was
correct to restrict the flow of irrigation waters to save endangered
salmon, or that a lawsuit now requires limits on pollution in
impaired waterways that have been unsafe for fishing or swimming,
When I discover new magazines that are focused on reporting positive,
constructive things that are going on like Yes! Magazine and Hope,
- When it is reported that jet skiis are no longer allowed in
national park waterways and that a major coffee company is committed
to working with coffee farmers in the third world to establish
fair trade for shade-grown, organic coffee grown with social,
environmental and economic standards, I smile.
- When I hear of a friend going to Central America to a Spanish
Language school that provides jobs in a village that was a former
logging community, or that another friend has signed up for an
eco-tourist trip where sustainable principles guide the socially
and environmentally responsible travel, I smile.
- When I read about land title gained by indigenous people to
their ancestral lands, or read that volunteers have given their
time, money and labor to build homes for families in need, I smile.
- When I get a letter from Africa with reports on the hard work
being done by guards to protect and conserve the habitat of gorillas,
or a new certification of Smartwood which can identify wood products
made from lumber grown in sustainable forests, I smile.
- When I get an email telling me that another country has killed
plans to open their spectacular coastal waters to oil drilling,
and that citizens all over our country are emailing their congressmen
and senators to demand a strengthened clear air act, I smile.
- When I learn that schools are incorporating nature landscaping
into their outdoor classrooms with butterfly gardens and restored
streams or teachers are going to conferences about eco-literacy,
teaching a sense of place education, I smile.
- When I hear that vacation trips are organized to build schools
and clinics and libraries in remote villages, and micro-enterprise
lending is making it possible for women to receive small loans
that enable them to become entrepreneurs and send their children
to school, I smile.
- When a newsletter tells me that junior high kids are doing service
learning projects like tree planting and restoration of habitat,
or high school kids are monitoring air pollutant levels around
their school in an effort to find solutions, I smile.
- Now that I have bought a gas/electric hybrid car that gets over
50 mpg, and I remember to use rechargeable batteries, I smile.
- When I read new books that alert our citizens about the destructive
nature of factory farms and the efforts of some companies to patent
seeds for crops that farmers around the world have grown for thousands
of years, I am glad to know.
I am grateful for courageous authors and activists that keep me
informed. We need to know what to pray about and see where our prayers
lead us to take action.