As we near the end of our lenten Plastic Fast, I find my heart heavy. I am freshly aware of the destruction we are visiting upon the gift of God’s good earth. I have seen whales die with bellies full of plastic and plastic islands floating in the oceans. I have seen our own plastic recycling program in our province disintegrate and plastic from our recycling bins go for burning and landfill. Tonight, I lament.
None of this is news to most people. But when you really look at how much each of us is contributing to the problem, then the responsibility lies with all of us. The vastness of the problem and our inability to respond appropriately leaves a mawing gap. The Pacific garbage patch is three times the size of France. Tonight, I lament.
I struggle not to become casuistic about the whole thing, straining out the gnat, judging others while I eat cake at work with a real plate and fork. I ate the buns. And the candy. I paid twice as much for tulips wrapped in paper as in plastic. And then the storekeeper popped them in a plastic bag. I didn’t want the plastic bag. Oh. She took the flowers out and binned the bag. Too often I tithed my cumin, this white-washed tomb. Tonight, I lament.
Where did it all come from, this plastic, this junk? How did we not notice before now? Why do we tolerate it still? How can we think it is not important? And what do I do now? Will we really refuse to eat beef, and continue buying milk in bottles? I am weak. I know I may fail. Tonight, I lament.
This night, in the dark night of the soul of the earth, Lord, give me the strength to not fall asleep. Let me stay awake with you. Let us all be awake to your call. Awake to the stewardship you have entrusted to us. Lord have mercy.