creation care, justice

Place, Hope & Neighbors

I’m an Atlanta native, now living just outside Atlanta. That may seem commonsensical to some readers, but those here in the area might realize how extraordinary I really am. When I completed a degree in 2010, out of 38 people in my cohort, I was the only native. It is more and more rare to find people who live where they grew up. Even now, I reside around half an hour from my town of origin.

Understandably, “Where are you from?” is a regular conversation starter. You can start a great number of conversations and learn quite a lot about someone by beginning that way. Learning where someone is from gives us the opportunity reminisce about a time when we visited that part of the country, or even tell of relatives that live nearby. My husband always finds a fellow “Hoosier” when we are meeting new people.

But for all of the interesting banter this creates, the question I wish we asked is “Where is your place?” Much like the famed (and culturally inappropriate) “Laughin’ Place” of Brer Rabbit from The Tales of Uncle Remus, where is the place where you can be you? Where are you known?

For instance, we don’t venture out as often as we once did, but I can tell you with certainty that Donna at our Waffle House, Gustav at Monterry’s, Kerri at Johnny’s Pizza, and Stephanie at Chili’s all know us. Noah and Jason don’t even order any more. (Because I enjoy more variety, I usually require a little more maintenance.) It is comforting to go places where the staff remember Noah, understand about his autism, and are patient as he works through noise and other stressors during a meal. These are places we are known – they are our places.

We’ve recently come into the habit of spending even more time in our place, which is Powder Springs, Georgia. An amazing local business owner has given Noah a part-time job in his store which specializes in locally made goods, outdoor gear, and rental of bikes and kayaks. It is the coolest place in town and has become a hub of neighbor-love. Noah is now installed there and is a part of that place, as are we.

I had already fallen in love with our local library and linear park, but now I’m finding myself passionate about the people and smaller spaces within this larger place. I’m learning names, learning about the local businesses, and the history of this town. I’m becoming a part of this membership, as Wendell Berry might say.

In his poem, A Poem About Hope and Place, Berry exhorts us to “belong to your place by knowledge of the others who are your neighbors in it…” and in doing so find restoration as you age and struggle to hope.

This knowledge cannot be taken from you by power

Or by wealth. It will stop your ears to the powerful

when they ask for your faith, and to the wealthy

when they ask for your land and your work.

Answer with knowledge of the others who are here

And how to be here with them. By this knowledge

Make the sense you need to make. By it stand

In the dignity of good sense, whatever may follow.

Speak to your fellow humans as your place

Has taught you to speak, as it has spoken to you.

Speak its dialect as your old compatriots spoke it

Before they had heard a radio. Speak

Publicly what cannot be taught or learned in public.

– Wendell Berry, A Poem About Hope and Place

There is much to be spoken in this place – words of hope and inspiration, peace and unity, care and reconciliation. I must learn my neighbor to fulfill that commandment to love them, and in doing so fully love myself. This place can birth that process. It has “birthed” it for my son, a young man with a disability who was unable to get a job with the larger stores like Kroger and Publix because his speech wasn’t clear on a phone interview. Yet, in this place where he is known, his speech impediment hasn’t been an “impediment” at all. It has restored our hope.

As Berry advises, we are founding our hope “on the ground under our feet.” And in doing so, our neighbors and our place have illumined our way.

Found your hope, then, on the ground under your feet.

Your hope of Heaven, let it rest on the ground

Underfoot. Be it lighted by the light that falls

Freely upon it after the darkness of the nights

And the darkness of our ignorance and madness.

Let it be lighted also by the light that is within you,

Which is the light of imagination. By it you see

The likeness of people in other places to yourself

In your place. It lights invariably the need for care

Toward other people, other creatures, in other places

As you would ask them for care toward your place and you.

Wendell Berry, A Poem About Hope and Place
creation care, environmental justice, justice, theology

The Violence of Falsehood

Violence against our world and our fellow beings finally cannot be dissociated from the violence of falsehood.

Wendell Berry, On Receiving one of the Dayton Literary Peace Prizes, Our Only World

I’m hardly ever consciously trying to be controversial. Usually, I just mildly annoy people with “my passion” for whatever it is I am speaking into. But occasionally, I really set someone’s teeth on edge by becoming what they might call “political” about a topic. As I’ve written in another blog on Nature and Spirituality, I’m an equal opportunity offender – irritating both the Conservative Right and the Liberal Left. It once bothered me greatly and I would loose sleep at night. Now I sleep just fine.

creek bed along trail

I preface this post with these thoughts because I know my recent research into environmental justice has made (at least) one of you uncomfortable. I can hear you saying, “Why does she have to go there? Can’t she just do her nature play outdoorsy thing and leave well enough alone? None of this really has anything to do with loving and sharing the world God made – that is Creation Care! Leave the justice issues out of it.”

The problem is that leaving justice out of it is falsehood. It is a lie of omission. Omitting the facts about our history of environmental injustices allows us to anesthetize ourselves not only to our past, but also to present and future dangers that share the lives of those we would call “brothers and sisters.”

We must act daily as critics of history so as to prevent, so far as we can, the evils of yesterday from infecting today.

Wendell Berry, On Being Asked for ‘A Narrative for the Future,’ Our Only World

While hiking at a state park just minutes from my home this weekend, I was thrilled to see many black and brown faces on the secluded trail we chose. I met so many diverse people on the trail that as I journeyed, I wondered if the issues surrounding environmental justice might have not already been solved. Maybe these issues really aren’t worth noting and writing about any more?

Suddenly as the trail descended, we were met by a large rock outcropping that I remembered reading had been studied by archeologists as a site of shelter used by Native Americans for several thousand years. I didn’t see any of them on the trail, however, because we relocated the Cherokee from this region a long time ago. And I was reminded that we are all susceptible to the violence of falsehood out of a desperation for a sense of well-being.

rock outcropping used by Native Americans

The hidden truth is, recognizing and acknowledging matters of environmental – or any other kind of – justice will not exclude us from appreciating, enjoying and sharing the good and beauty of a place. The two ideas are not mutually exclusive. The joy of being appreciative for a place cannot be disassociated from understanding the history of that place. And understanding the wrongs that have occurred don’t change the way I can appreciate the spicy smell of a hardwood forest.

To fail to enjoy the good things that are enjoyable is impoverishing and ungrateful.

Wendell Berry, On Being Asked for ‘A Narrative for the Future,’ Our Only World

So I will hold both the beauty and the conflict in each hand, allowing myself to always know the tension between what terrible things have happened, so as to more fully know the burning desire to share this beauty now with all peoples. Any other way of pretending is falsehood and violence. It would not be peacemaking.

creation care, donate, nature play, programs

Sponsorships Change Lives

We’ve recently posted a series of articles about the Physical, Social-Emotional, and Cognitive benefits of exposure to nature. Without listing them all again, there is research-based evidence to support:

  • Extended time playing in nature creates the minds business leaders call “21st Century Leaders” creative thinkers, innovators, problem solvers and collaborators
  • Nature play promotes healthy bodies during a time in our history when childhood obesity is at an all time high
  • Place-based learning and care for the natural world create learners who are adaptable, compassionate and interconnected to their community

At Sparrow’s Nest Play, we are in the process of putting together our VERY FIRST DAY of Mini-Camp. This day of learning will expose children to nature play through crafts, den building, tracking, nature journaling, and outdoor safety lessons. But we need funding to help get things started. Listed below are some of the ways your donations will add to the experience for a child at a day of Mini-Camp.

Please consider introducing a child to the wonders of creation by sponsoring a child or activity. Donations of any amount help us further our mission at Sparrow’s Nest Play.

creation care, nature play, programs

What I Learned in Forest Teacher Training

A few weeks ago, I sat at my kitchen table with dear friends who have agreed to form my first board at Sparrow’s Nest Play and made a confession. I told them that as passionate as I was about nature play, creation care and just living, I didn’t have a clue what a session with children would actually look like. I had a bunch of disconnected thoughts, but no real cohesive plan for how to fit my philosophy into a construct that included daily schedules and a curriculum framework. While I wasn’t discouraged, I’d be dishonest if I didn’t say that it set off a bit of “imposter syndrome” for me, and I felt discouraged.

Forest Teacher Training from the Forest Teacher Training Institute has completely changed those feelings for me. I have left this 30 hour certification with everything I knew I was missing and so much more! If you are at all interested in the forest school movement – even if you are not sure where your passion might take you – I encourage you to investigate this course of study. Here is just a taste of what I have taken with me…

Community is at the heart of the nature play and forest school movement. I have spent many frustrated years in the “for profit” markets where all resources (access to philosophies, curriculum, and even people) were commodities to be purchased. I’ve always resisted this in favor of an approach that was based on sharing for the good of the greater community. Not only does the forest school movement generally reflect this spirit, the daily practices share the value of honoring the community of learners. (See my post on Kinship from my Forest Teacher Training Diary series.)

Daily Rhythms and Rituals have now replaced the space in my mind once occupied by the dreaded “Master Schedule.” After studying FLOW Learning, as well as the Waldorf philosophy of “inhale/exhale,” I have a totally different approach to organizing learning activities. The variety of ideas I have been exposed to helped me to create sample schedules for everything from a One-Hour Session for a learning center or daycare, to a Full-Day Session for a day of camp. I’ll be making my Teacher Training Portfolio available soon so you can see how Sparrow’s Nest Play will approach learning together.

Before my training, I was somewhat at loose ends when I considered how to approach curriculum. As non-commercialized as the forest school movement is, you can still find those willing to sell you complete curriculum with scope and sequence for your group. I was unsure if this was how I “had” to approach it. I learned that becoming co-learners with the children means that I will have the liberty to let the children show me their interests and build from there. Of course, this means having about 20 or so curriculum units “pre-planned” and organized seasonally so you can be prepared to capitalize on an encounter with nature. But the freedom this brought me immediately took so much stress from my lens of what curriculum had to be that I was immediately able to create a Seasonal Curriculum Framework. It will also be included in my portfolio.

And the delicate, random and fear-producing questions I had answered are just too numerous for me to write about, but here are a few:

  • It is okay to have multi-age groups?
  • Can I incorporate sustainable living and justice issues?
  • Can animals be a part of a nature play environment?
  • Will I really be able to keep the kids safe?
  • Are there ways to envelope families into the forest experience?
  • Can I do “forest school” in an urban area?
  • Will the ideas from forest school work if I want to start with an after school program?
  • Do I really know enough if I’m not a naturalist?

The answer to all of these lingering questions was “Yes!” Now my enthusiasm is brimming over and waking me up at all hours of the night.

I’m also humbled to say that I’ll be able to continue my certification to earn my Forest Director Certificate because of a generous scholarship. I am beyond thrilled to extend my learning to include topics like Site Development & Risk Evaluation, Developing Forest School Culture and Identity, Staff Development and Program Assessment, Marketing and Proposal Development, and a seminar in the Global Forest School Movement. The end product of this certification will be my own formal Proposal Presentation for Sparrow’s Nest Play.

For all of you who are following our journey at Sparrow’s Nest Play, I appreciate your comments and all the ways you are encouraging me to put forth the ideas of creation care, nature play and just living into the world. Please continue to follow our blog, as well as our social media on Facebook and Instagram to see where our journey takes us next.

white, weathered chapel with spire located in a wheat field with the text title of article "Nature and Spirituality"
creation care, theology

Nature and Spirituality

Occasionally I am asked what I mean by the term “Creation Care.” Unfortunately, many people whose faith traditions are similar to mine simply see no connection between love and care for the natural world and their “spirituality.” And I find that, no matter which side of the “liberal-conservative” spectrum they identify with, when I begin to talk about caring for God’s world I find that those who would close themselves off do so for reasons which seem, on the surface, so diametrically opposed that it makes me laugh. My conviction either causes them to hear a Bible-thumbing radical that wants to indoctrinate children with rigid ideas about Creation, or else the opposite: some liberal, environmental agenda set at hijacking their “traditional Christian values.”

Indeed (and this is a matter of some importance), neither is the case. Because of this, I have found it very difficult to find “my tribe” in between these two extremes. Richard Louv said it well in Last Child in the Woods when he wrote of the precariousness of speaking of, “…spirituality of – or rather in nature – without tripping on biblical vines of interpretation, semantics and politics.” (291)

Perhaps like him, I have found myself on the outside of many institutions, realizing that they take one of many stances on the sticky combination of ecology, the natural world, and creation care:

  • As aforementioned, many conservative religious institutions view, in Louv’s words, “environmentalism as ersatz religion…a creeping animism” that threatens much of their fundamental doctrine.
  • Or, perhaps they completely stand by ecological and environmental movements of today, but see them as having nothing to do with Biblical teaching, but rather see them only as an ethic apart from the Bible.
  • But, sometimes I find myself in a group of people just as disillusioned as I am, without the language or home to convey the feeling of oneness with a Creator whose imprint they see when surrounded by the natural world. These people would often describe themselves as “spiritual” but more than likely, not often as “religious”

For many years I have struggled to find a place, institution or organization where I might share my passion for teaching children the respect for living things, sacredness of place and awe of the natural world. Sparrow’s Nest Play is my sacred ground, on which I hope to share my love for creation and its care.

Photo by Kyle Bushnell on Unsplash

It’s important to me that we define why the values of Sparrow’s Nest Play (nature play, creation care, and just living) are what they are, and it is important to me that you know it has nothing to do with a soapbox. The truth is, we believe that the problems inherent in the liberal and conservative camps arise from the same misunderstanding: a false dichotomy between nature and spirituality. For a fuller understanding on our beliefs about “spirituality,” see our post Spirituality Means Becoming God-like.)

Our understanding of this is why I am thankful to Richard Louv for his classic work in Last Child in the Woods, which discusses this false dichotomy between nature and spirituality in the next-to-last chapter. He captures the tension by recounting a conversation with a Conservative Christian woman in the following quote.

The Lord created and placed humans in a garden with a mandate to enjoy it, manage it with authority, in subjugation to the Creator,” she says. At the core of the creation story, she believes, is the “truth that humans are made in the image of God, sharing some of the capacities unique to God, such as freedom to choose, creativity, authority over creation.” Without an informed biblical foundation, she believes, concern for the environment falls prey to sentimentalism; idolatry of nature; bioegalitarianism (which ‘elevates animals, devalues humans); and biocentrism (which ‘disregards the biblical notion that where human needs and non-human needs are in conflict, priority goes to meeting the human needs’)”

Last Child in the Woods, 200

I pondered this for a long time after reading, re-reading, and re-reading again before I felt confident that I understood just how different my beliefs and assumptions about what scripture teaches and the beliefs of this woman are. I came to the conclusion that she and I have very differently informed “biblical foundations” when it comes to the Biblical creation account. I’ll need to begin there and then proceed to my account of what I have been led to believe Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection means for our lives here in this world.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Genesis, Creation, and Our Role

The account of creation, in Genesis and elsewhere in scripture, tells us of God placing people inside creation, making them in his image. Rather than see this image-bearing as the authority wielding power to subdue and manage, I see God as inviting us to to become caretaker and co-creators of all he had made. The Hebrew wording used for “rule” and “subdue” also indicate a leadership by “going down” and “spreading out among.” There are other verbs for “conquer” or “have dominion,” but the words used here indicate relationship and caretaking

So our faith begins with the story of how God created a beautiful world and then created people to live in it, to name it, and to do the good work of caring for it.  At Sparrow’s Nest Play, we think that means that God’s original idea was for people to see themselves as a part of the world–meaning that even though the world provides our food, God made us to have a responsibility to it and to each other.  

At the end of that story we’re told about sin–we think that at least part of what that means is that people started thinking about the natural world as something that was underneath them–instead of a part of them, that it was there for them to exploit and use up.  They saw themselves as being outside of the world, rather than being a part of it.  We think that’s part of the destructive nature of sin–to exploit and use up the people, animals, and places around us.  Ultimately, we think that when Jesus came, he was establishing God’s kingdom on this earth, and he told us that that meant that God’s will would be done right here. 

Jesus’ Ministry of Reconciliation

Jesus’ ministry was one of restoration, reconciliation and resurrection. As witness to the exploitative nature of humankind, he continually sought to restore and reconcile wrong ideas, actions and practices, which often involved restoring marginalized people and places. Jesus came to bring peace to a broken world. Part of that definition of peace or shalom is “enough for all.” A scarcity mindset and the belief that there aren’t enough resources (food, water, wealth, medicine, energy, etc) are at the root of greed and exploitation.

Scarcity thinking benefits the powerful and the power systems they have created. I believe Jesus’ restored Kingdom undid the powers and the systems they upheld.

Because we think Jesus came to restore us to being caretakers of this earth, at SNP, we want to help children learn why and how to take care of the soil, water, the plants, and the animals around them.  We think that when they do, they’ll also learn that they are taking care of one another and themselves: that this is a way of loving their neighbor as themselves.

Photo by Isaac Quick on Unsplash

Spirituality in Nature

Do I believe one can engage in nature without encountering the “spiritual?” Well, I suppose that depends greatly on how one defines the word spiritual. What I can bear witness to are countless instances of both children and adults finding moments of something bigger than themselves while in the natural world. And in these moments, sometimes they had a name for the eternal and infinite. Some might have called it God, or Allah, while others chose to refer to the vastness as Mother Nature. It was this feeling of smallness among the infinite that led native peoples to create stories, handed down generation to generation, about many aspects of nature from a creation account to animal lore.

When speaking about faith-based environmentalism, Paul Gorman, founder and director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, declares, “The extent that we separate our children from creation is the extent to which we separate them from the creator – from God.” (Louv, 299) Conversely, I think it is hard to expose them to nature and not allow them to have questions about how it came about. I enjoy those conversations and being a part of them. I especially enjoy having them with children, whose mind’s eye is still so open and willing to dream and imagine a world with room for shalom.

And in a world with room enough for shalom, I think there will also be room for the neighbor-love that impacts lives large and small in every ecosystem.

creation care

Creation Care and Why It Matters

In today’s busy spaces of home, work, school, and schedule it may seem like “too much” to read about one more thing you and your family needs to “fit in” to an already impossible schedule. Recreation out of doors has become a specialty niche, another group you can choose to belong to or “identify with” in order to gain a place in society’s ever fluctuating social order. But that is not what I am talking about.

I’m not proposing week-long excursions, either as a family unit or that you pay precious dollars for your child to experience. I don’t mean that I wish for you to drop the savings account on camping equipment and force everyone to “Enjoy time in creation…damn it! We’re going on this trip even if it kills us and we are going to like it because it will bring us closer to God’s creation!” And I absolutely don’t want to add another thing into a child’s already overloaded schedule.

What I am suggesting is that reconnecting and reorienting oneself with the natural world in an intimate way places us closer to the heart of God.

Where can this be done? A small patch of yard with potted plants can be a great start. For small children, just a few trees is a forest. Public parks, while controlled in landscape and play options, at least provide grassy places for sitting and trees to observe. Spots in the yard to dig in the soil, gather fallen leaves, or just sit comfortably and quietly all serve as great springboards for Creation Care.

Photos by Emma Roorda  Justin Young  Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash  

In Last Child in the Woods, Louv recounts a conversation with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who was at the time President of the Waterkeeper Alliance and senior attorney for Natural Resources Defense Council. Speaking passionately about reconnecting children to nature, Kennedy said, “We don’t want to live in a world where…we’ve lost touch with the seasons, the tides, the things that connect us – the ten thousand generations human begins that were here before us…and ultimately to God” (200).

“We shouldn’t be worshipping nature as God, he said, but nature is the way that God communicates to us most forcefully. ‘God communicates to us through each other and through organized religion, through wise people and the great books, through music and art,’ but nowhere ‘with such gesture and forcefulness in detail and grace and joy, as through creation” (Louv, 200).

Not only do we feel a nearness to God when we place ourselves strategically in the natural world, we experience a smallness within ourselves, which positions us within the created order as God intended – as caretakers and watchmen of an enormous garden. When we still ourselves to notice things like blooming flowers, birdcalls, watersheds, and the markings of seasons, we see just how much has been going on around us without our notice and attention. And suddenly we are placed within eternity, as co-creators with endless opportunity to partake in a richness we had previously missed.

Nature presents the young with something so much greater than they are; it offers an environment where they can easily contemplate infinity and eternity.”

Louv, Last Child in the Woods, 98

Now step back and look at the person who has themselves been recreated. They have intimacy with God by thinking about how (and perhaps “why”) he made things as he did. They wonder about many of these things daily. These people have developed critical thinking skills like observation, reflection, evaluation, inference-making, problem solving, and decision making. They are able to see themselves as part of whole, yet also as integral to its health and well-being. And they are able to contemplate time and eternity, placing themselves rightly within God’s story.

views from my “sit spot” in our backyard

I don’t know the names of all the flowers or birds that appear in my backyard – yet. Indeed it would probably take me most of the rest of my life to learn them. But I am being changed in the process of learning them. I spend more time in wonder and in awe of a creator with the capacity for such variety, substance, and wit. As I practice sitting and observing, I find myself in dialog with a Creator who created in abundance – not scarcity. This shalom realization, that there is enough for me and for his created order, is something I want to share with children. I believe it will also bring them a “peace that passes understanding.”

creation care

Creation Care: A Story About Peace

Several years ago I had the opportunity to work at a summer camp dedicated to Creation Care and peace-teaching. Since that time, I’ve never been able to shake the feeling that my life’s calling is drawing children to God through this kind of play. I was forever changed by my time as a guide for them, and I believe they, too, were changed by their encounters with God’s creation.

Set on a small church farm in East Atlanta, this camp was a place set aside for inner city children to experience nature and creation. When I say “inner city children,” please realize that our clientele was varied. Some were from a ministry that worked with children that were homeless or recently rehoused. A few children were recently arrived refugees who didn’t speak English and scattered at the sound of a car backfiring because they assumed it was gunfire. And we had a few gentrified white upper-middle class children sprinkled in just for fun.

Divided as heterogeneously as possible by age and origin into three Farm Families, these children would begin their day with a large group gathering under the towering oaks at the front of the property. We’d get a temperature read on on everyone for the day, making sure no conflicts had arisen on transportation to the farm that necessitated intervention, and then sing a few songs and play a game or two. But the children were really just eager to get started on the first set of activities – Farm Family Chores.

You heard me right, chores! Good, old fashioned work. Most older members of our staff would chuckle at the novelty of these activities remembering the dread with which they had participated in the same activities as children. And while the July Georgia temperatures did nothing to bolster the enthusiasm of the adults, the children didn’t seem to notice.

There were three Farm Families and three rotations of chores. Chicken Care involved cleaning the pens, feeding and watering the chickens. Goat Care meant either herding the goats to a new area for feeding that day, or carrying feed in containers from the Feed Barn to their pen and providing them water. My rotation was Sheep and Pig Care, which involved carrying compost scraps to the farm pig and watering the sheep. I should add that all of this was made extremely complicated by the fact that our well pump was out that summer and the children had to carry water about 100 yards in any direction from the kitchen in 5-gallon buckets to complete their tasks.

Photo by Brett Jordan  by Sofia Borrego  by Judith Prins on Unsplash

Those buckets of water were heavy, and skinny six to twelve year-old arms can’t carry a 5-gallon bucket full of water too far. But split between two children, one on either side of the bucket, they could go around 20 yards. Then, they’d swap out for another two kids. In this fashion, working as a team, they’d get the job done – and God forbid an adult suggest they step in and help!

These children, many of whom had never seen a live animal other than maybe a domesticated dog or cat, started out the sessions terrified of the animals – fascinated but completely unprepared to go near a chicken, goat, sheep, or pig. But as the session unfolded, the children began to feel their daily contributions were so meaningful that they connected to these animals and to the land they were on. By the end of the session, I think every child had held a baby goat and a chicken. Many of them were reaching beneath chickens to grab the morning’s eggs without even thinking about it. But that is not the only way the children were changed.

There was a noticeable restfulness of spirit about the children that had not been there before and their pace slowed as they cared for the animals. I remember them stopping to ask me about the “pretty orange flowers” growing at the edge of a field. I can still recall the shock and wonder when I told them that blossom would one day be a pumpkin. Many had never seen a strawberry plant, and learned to harvest them with joy each day. They began to laugh and play. The language barrier was not an issue. And any conflict that did arise could usually be solved by taking them down to the goats and sitting to calm down, watch, and talk.

At the end of each day, the children were encouraged to reflect on the best parts of their experience, what they had learned and where they had experienced peace that day. There responses were often as follows:

  • I experienced peace when I pet the sheep.
  • I felt peace when the chickens got loose and we had to make a human fence to get them back in the pen.
  • I felt peace when I had to stop the baby goat in the strawberry patch.
  • It was peace giving the pig water and my lunch scraps.

While I know that crafts, stories, and music were also fun, I think what healed those children and brought them peace was God’s creation. Experiencing an intimacy with the creator through creation gave them a priceless gift. It placed them in the story of Creation as caretakers and allowed them to give and co-create. For a child who believes they have nothing to offer the world, this is the gift of a lifetime.

At Sparrow’s Nest Play, we want to give this gift to as many children as we possible can. It may be a while before we have the physical property to house the animals that we had at the farm, but God can use all parts of nature to heal and bring peace. Through our writing, videos, and other resources, we want to be his conduit for that peacemaking.

Title Image Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash