I started to put together more thoughts on the Gulf, on BP, on the sinking horrible feeling that there is no end in sight for the poisoning of our water. But, that's about as far as I can get with that.
And then I embarked on a project to help my mentor by searching for some of her past sermons as part of her studies this summer at Sewanee. Since I was often "pinged" in the forehead by her preaching, this was an assignment I couldn't refuse! And I'm glad that I didn't. As I listened back over her sermons, and her insistence and persistence that the Gospel "really is GOOD news", I was reminded that even at times like these when I look at images from the Gulf, and feel the wounds being inflicted on us through our addiction and habit of oil, God still has not left the picture. Even if God may feel far away, and even if I sense that everybody is more than a little on edge around me in light of our plight, God really is holding this space as well. The question then becomes not one of "Where is God?" but "Where are we?" If God is hanging in there with the Gulf of Mexico and all the creatures, human and mammal, who depend on those waters... if God is continuing to call out to us to repent and return, to truly give reverence for the earth as God's creation, then we are commanded to make a response. Are we going to turn away because we don't have time? Or are we going to change? Are we going to make an effort to cut down on our personal pollution and addiction to oil? We can not just walk off. We must make demands that those who have the power put that power to good use, and to protect the common good of this planet. That means finally allowing for the further funding and exploration of other sources for energy.
And when the oil giant BP starts offering up a pittance to pay for the damage they've done, we don't have to apologize for that (like the Republicans in Congress believe we should!) The money is necessary and important, but the bigger issue is that we must stop getting strung-out on oil. Perhaps British Petroleum could look to re-tool and create fuel through algae.
One can hope BP will change too!