I grew up in Northern California, surrounded by big trees, hills, the San Francisco Bay, the Pacific Ocean, rivers not too far away, and so much more. I found great joy in being outside. In fact, it was at a camp in the Redwoods when I was in junior high school that I first encountered the grace of Jesus in a personal way. There’s nothing quite like sitting on a big rock in the middle of the Redwoods to focus your heart on your Creator God.

I’ve now traveled the better part of the U.S. and small fractions of three foreign countries. I’ve traveled by car, train, and airplane. What I’ve seen is this: Every single part of this Earth holds beauty and so much life.

Yes, there are problems—not all of them man-made. Natural disasters devastate homes and towns. But even as I sit at my desk watching a bright red cardinal feast at my birdfeeder while his little mate gleans the spilled seed from the ground, I know that this little patch of quarter acre in Orlando, Fla., is my family’s to steward. 

My heart hurts to see litter strewn on the roadways. I shudder to think about the wildlife that is decimated by refineries heedlessly dumping their toxic waste. I’m angered by those who think “subdue” (Genesis 1:28) means “destroy.” I grieve over the mess that we’ve made of our God-given planet.

Earth is the only physical place we have to call home. God’s call is to take care of it. In all the articles you will read in this issue, our writers acknowledge the beauty and healing this planet has to offer. God’s design really is amazing. Here’s an idea: Read this issue outside. Enjoy whatever little patch of Earth God has given you today. 

And give him praise.

Stephanie Reeves
Editor in Chief

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