A few years ago my brother drove me round parts of the northeast, a vast and beautiful landscape of gently rolling green hills. Only a few decades earlier coalfields covered the area. They’ve gone and nature has taken over. The changes were devastating for the population but the northeast continues to undergo rejuvenation, giving hope for the future.

Wild fires have wreaked havoc in the northwest and Wales in the recent hot weeks, blackening the landscape. Nature, however, will rally and, given time, habitats will be restored and fresh shoots appear. Hope again.

Farmers are worried. The grass has dried up and precious winter feed is being used to feed cattle. Grain isn’t swelling because of a lack of rain, though the hot sun means harvesting can happen earlier than usual. It’s likely that farmers will lose income. They’ll hope that next year will be better.

Such scenarios are not new. Centuries ago, a man called Habakkuk was fed up with the destruction of landscape and livelihood that resulted from violence, fighting and injustice. He complained to God but eventually said, “Even though the fig-trees have no fruit and no grapes grow on the vines, even though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no corn, even though the sheep all die and the cattle-stalls are empty, I will still be joyful and glad because the Lord God is my Saviour.”

Many changes are unwelcome and scary, and glib platitudes are unhelpful. Nevertheless we all, like Habakkuk, need to grasp even the tiniest vestige of hope in whatever our changing landscape may be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.