The first book I read about faith and going green was Serve God, Save the Planet. It was this book that basically launched my journey to becoming frugally green, so I wanted to share a little encouragement from it this week.
At the very beginning of the book, the author, Matthew Sleeth, tells the story of watching an old woman who was sitting and begging outside Saint Peter’s Basilica. He watched as all different types of people passed by the woman, and then saw three nuns break away from the flow of people and one stooped slowly to place money into the beggars outstretched hand. At the end of the chapter he writes,
“This chapter opened with my witnessing a simple act of charity by a nun in Rome. Actions, deeds, and works of charity get heaven’s attention. The words spoken on earth that autumn day in Italy are now forgotten. Yet the miracle I witnessed allowed me, for a moment, to glimpse what God sees – our hearts. In that humble gift to a beggar, I heard the trumpets of heaven sound. God’s beautiful earth will not be saved by words or good intentions. It will be saved by humble, anonymous acts like turning off the lights, hanging clothing on the line, bicycling to work, and planting trees. People who are grateful for God’s abundant gifts, people of faith who are not afraid to be held accountable for care of his creation, will save it.” (emphasis mine)
I have written before about how I can get overwhelmed with all I think there is to do. And sometimes it’s hard for me to know how my family not buying paper products can make a difference when I see the amount of waste created in public bathrooms or fast food restaurants.
But, now that I have taken these steps, made these changes, it’s not just about what kind of difference it can make. It’s also about my heart, and the way that I choose to live. I know that God has called me to live in this way, and I am honoring Him and bringing glory to Him through the actions in my life – big or small. And as I encouraged us before, I do believe that the small and simple acts, that may go unnoticed by most, are being used by God for his purposes to create something bigger and better than we can know or understand.
Our actions can also have a ripple effect on others. Maybe my family alone not using disposable products doesn’t make a huge impact, but if we can inspire other families to do the same, and they can inspire their friends, and on and on it goes. We cannot underestimate the affect that our actions have on others and how that effect can change the world.
I also know that as a follower of Jesus, I am called to live in a way that points others to Him. May my actions cause others to ask why I live the way I have chosen to live, or why I do some of the things I do. And may I be able to answer in a way that shows them Jesus through my life. I pray the same would be true for you too.
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.