By Karen Rispin
Beauty in nature is good for us! But some of us don’t bother, and some of us couldn’t if we wanted to. Some live where the earth is covered with pavement and concrete. Some have disabilities and limited mobility. There’s even been a new term coined, “Nature Deficit Disorder”. Might want to Google it! Fascinating stuff!! It’s not just social media chatter. Here are links to a few scientific articles about the benefits of nature. There’s hard evidence!! Time in nature leads to lower levels of stress depression and anxiety, Prescribing time in nature to effectively treat ADHD, Nature time improves the health of children and helps them do better in school. This isn’t only physical and mental wellness. Many people, even secular academics, feel strongly that there are ties to spiritual wellness.
And yes, it’s good theology! For many hundreds of years, theologians have spoken of God’s hand in nature as “natural revelation”, one way to know God. The Apostle Paul in Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.” King David, the great singer of Israel put it this way in Psalm 19, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.”
Getting outdoors into nature has been something important to me since I was a child at boarding school, a way to escape to peace, a place to move and work off stress. And most of all, for me it was a way to be surrounded in beauty and to know the love of God. The great old hymn says it so well.
“For the beauty of the earth, For the wonder of the skies
For the love which from our birth over and around us lies
. . . For the beauty of the hour, of the day and of the night
Hill and vale and tree and flower, sun and moon and stars of light
Lord of all to thee we raise, this our hymn of joyful praise”
With the Assistive Technology Catalyst Project, we’re working to bring mobility. Thank you for your help! That’s huge! One benefit is that wheelchairs help people get out into the love of God in nature. However, it will still be difficult for many.
Ever since I was a teen, I’ve been doing artwork that is nature related. It helps me to really look, and it brings nature into our indoor living space. Over the last several years, I’ve been selling this art, and recently have a new website up. https://pixels.com/profiles/1-karen-rispin?tab=artwork Funds from this facilitate our wheelchair project, but I’m also hoping the art itself will bring God’s love in nature into your living spaces.