Scientific evidence tells us that fish and especially birds are some of the oldest evolutionary species on earth. (Birds are thought to be the closest relatives to dinosaurs). These creatures have been here much longer than us and Scripture mentions specifically that they are created by and cared for by God. This week, how might you be called to recognize your connection with other creatures?
Jonah 2:10 (Then God spoke to the fish)
Psalm 104:24-26 (Leviathan)
Luke 12:6-7 (not one sparrow is forgotten by God)
- Sit quietly somewhere outside and close your eyes. Allow your awareness to settle on the sounds you hear. Pay special attention to the calls and sounds of birds and insects. Try to discern how many different creatures are making the sounds you hear. Can you identify the creature by their sound? As you open your eyes, are you able to find the creatures you were listening to? How has this listening practice changed your experience of spot?
- Find a body of water and if possible, sit near the banks so you can peer into the water. Be patient and let your senses settle on the water. What do you see in the shallows? What do you see in the depths? What plant life do you notice? What creatures can you see or hear? Is this a healthy body of water, are the creatures thriving? How do you know?
- If you intend to serve fish or fowl this week, pause before eating to give thanks for the creature you are about to consume. Where did this creature come from? Does the context you find them in make it easier or harder to see them as a living being? How does the food system support or detract from a sense of interconnectedness between human beings and animals? Offer a blessing to them before you eat (for example, “[name of creature] you are created by God and you are loved by God”).
- Spend some time outside observing the insects you notice. How many of them can you name? After a few moments of noticing, allow your awareness to focus entirely on one in particular. What do you notice about them? What might they be teaching you in this moment? How has your perception of this creature shifted after this time of observation?