“Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves.” Isaiah 30:15
One Christmas, nearly twenty years ago, I gave each of my adult children a storybook called Old Turtle. I recorded myself reading the book, along with a statement, “You will not always have me, but you will have this little story about life.”
Old Turtle, written by Douglas Wood and illustrated by award-winning artist, Cheng-Khee Chee, is a beautiful book about God’s creation and how trees, stones, ants, the sky, fish begin to argue over who or what God is. When Old Turtle, the quiet creature, could stand it no longer, she yells, “STOP.” In her wisdom, she then validates all of God’s creation by saying, “God is gentle and powerful, above all things and within all things… God IS.” She then tells them to make room for others—human beings.
Isaiah was the “Old Turtle” prophet God used to tell the people of Judah and Jerusalem to STOP—to stop acting as if they did not need God in their lives. Today, we need Old Turtle to appear all over the world and scream STOP to the human beings who abuse the Earth and cause wars and other acts of violence to all of God’s creation.
Dear Lord, thank you for the reminder that we need to be gentle with one another and to all of creation. Amen.