Humans vs. the earth

I grew up–and am now a minister–in one of the many faith traditions that tries our best to follow the teachings of Jesus.

What that also means is that the Bible is a foundational book of scripture for me…one I see as a record of humanity’s attempts to understand the Divine.

In the first book (Genesis), there are two stories of creation. I’ve always loved the imagery in them…of a creative and creating God who calls that creation “good.”

But there’s also a portion of those stories that has bothered me. It comes after humans have been created in the image of the Divine…and is translated as “fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion…over every living thing.” Unfortunately, I believe that translation is a misunderstanding of what we are called to do with our earth–and it has impacted our decisions for many, many year…especially recently.

“Subdue”…common synonyms are to conquer, defeat, overpower, overcome. To “have dominion” in our day carries with it similar connotations.

Some contemporary translations instead call for humanity to have¬†stewardship over the earth–and I think that’s more in line with what was intended. Stewardship calls for responsibility…for handling what we have wisely.

That’s hardly what we’ve done. Instead of working together with the earth, we have tended to be more like “humans¬†vs. the earth”–and have made animals extinct…have destroyed environments…are in the process of continuing that destruction and changing our climate…and seem unwilling to go any other direction.

Do we not understand that if we destroy our environment, we destroy ourselves? I hope and pray it’s not too late for us to stop and reconsider our relationship to the earth–so that it changes from “humans vs. the earth” to “humans in partnership with the earth”…as I believe was intended.




We’re currently babysitting our “grandpuppy”–our daughter’s dog–while they’re away. She’s a schnoodle–but about half the size of our schnoodle…and several years older.

It’s Rascal’s home, but when Pepper comes over, she’s the top dog, and she’s not afraid to let Rascal know. Rascal has his favorite chair, his chew toys–and he loves to sit in my husband’s lap to watch the news. But Pepper takes over the chair, the chew–and the lap.

They’re neither one of them big dogs. Rascal weighs about 17 pounds, Pepper about 8. And there’s plenty of room for them both in the chair or on the lap. But will they share? Not on your life!

And will Rascal sit in my lap while Pepper’s in Charlie’s? Nope. He’s rather sulk on the floor!

Pepper brings her own food with her, but she’d rather check our Rascal’s. And Rascal–who is perfectly content with his food normally–is absolutely intrigued by Pepper’s.

Who says animals don’t show emotion? Who says that jealousy is limited to humans? All you have to do is watch these two dog “cousins” to know….that just ain’t true!