In the face of climate change, how do we tend to our spirits?

In true agrarian fashion, Norm Wirzba suggests starting small.

I knew this would be a good book, and it is. In his typical clear style, Norman Wirzba takes complex philosophical arguments, agrarian practical insights, and solid theological teaching and mixes them together in accessible prose to encourage and challenge readers. From a preacher’s perspective, it will preach.

I knew this would be a good book, but I was disheartened when I received it. I was tired. After 33 years in the same small congregation, coming out of Covid and facing climate change, our young adults bunkered up with worry and older adults hunkered down with exhaustion, here comes this book about little things like mercy, kindness, and community. I didn’t want little; I wanted big. I shared the feeling of many who are weary of well-doing: when backed up against the sea with the enemy bearing down, we want the sea to part.

I was looking for a fight, and Wirzba’s book showed up telling me about things like courtesy. Quoting Nicholas Lash, Wirzba writes that Christian discipleship is “schooling in the ways of creatureliness” where we learn “that courtesy to creatures is a way in which reverence for the Creator finds expression.” Wirzba goes on, “To believe that God is the Creator is to perceive all creatures as having their source and sustenance in God. . . . This is why courtesy before fellow creatures ought to be the daily, abiding human posture that governs our approach to those we meet.”