Healing Extinction Illness

A machine gun of oppression sprays our land with bullets of isolation and fear, killing some species immediately and spiraling others into despair. Deena Metzger calls it extinction illness. If she is right, then I am called to heal extinction illness as a healer rooted in Christ consciousness and nature’s ability to regenerate. I witness the same traumas as Deena and yet draw my responses from a different well. Come drink with me from this living water and feel refreshed…

I gaze over the landscape of tumultuous social and weather climates, and pray we recognize those things that make for peace. Sacred stories remind us that peace rests within the stillness of our souls even when the storms of life are rocking our boat. Peace rests within the sacred text of nature. Too often Mother Nature’s voice is missing from the climate conversation. As we pour Her voice into it, we become like a contented child at her mother’s breast.

My contentment bubbles into excitement as I recognize the pause between the crumbling of one social order and the rebirthing of a new society. Like the pause between our outgoing and incoming breath, this—this Kairos moment — offers the strength of eternity to transform our world. I am inviting women of the world to gather our agonies into one powerful Breath and push out a new social order.

You environmentalists who work on behalf of Earth and yet have no relationship with Earth, I invite you to wrap the God of your understanding around your loins and dance your dreams into this earthly realm. Replace your burnout, despair and rage with the spiritual strength and emotional refreshment that comes from clean oceans, nutrient-rich soil and mature forests.

As for me, daily the joy of my Creator is my strength. I am fed joy in rustling forest leaves that bathe my consciousness. I am fed joy in breathtaking sun rises and soul-filling moon walks. I delight in the eternal flow of love that dances in the jet stream, sparkles across the oceans and radiates throughout the meadows. My joy is fed daily with sheer gratitude that the One who holds the future also holds our hands.

To be sure, daily atrocities once confined to communities of color are seeping into the mainstream of privilege around the world. The media seeks to inoculate us with fear every hour so that we drop our birthright of resilience and become perpetually victimized puppets.

I clutch my birthright tenaciously. My ancestors remind me that they rose above slavery and Jim Crow to establish schools, churches, businesses and housing developments in the Carolinas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. Surely I can rise above the violence of this era. With their encouragement I do—I rise and create a platform for other women’s voices in a radio show. I rise and develop resilience leaders in communities that need the most help. I seed cooperative business structures that join justice, harmony, balance and love. I am too busy creating our new reality to sink into despair.

We are light beings. For those sinking, I invite you to discern between this eternal truth and the temporary climate chaos around us. Wake up to an embodied spirituality that understands whatever happens to “the least of us” will eventually happen to the rest of us. The least of us includes every microbe, every element and all beings that share our earth home. Triumph can travel even quicker than tribulation.

So begin your redemption small and close to home. Make your lawn a beautiful demonstration of how to properly love Mother Nature within your climate and pre-colonial ecosystem. Include your neighbors in your acts of love and watch the atmosphere of your neighborhood change. Heather Jo Flores, author of Food not Lawns, tells us there are 80 million acres of lawn in the United States. This land mass contributes to the climate crisis because lawns don’t store carbon, whereas natural ecosystems do. Soil & Souls is an emerging worker-owned nursery designed to lead the resilience in communities that need it most www.revdele.com/soil-and-souls. See if a resilience hub is forming near you. There are many roles for friends, allies and community stakeholders.

Pick up your doula bag and run to the nearest site of rebirth in your own neighborhood. Embodied spirituality sings at the funeral of ideas and institutions that ignore Earth Mother. We dance at the birth of economic and social structures that integrate health of water, soil, and air with health of all our relations in plant, animal, and insect kingdoms. All of the institutions that incarcerated life are crumbling so that institutions that incarnate life can be born. We see waves of opportunity following the crashing waves of destruction.

We don’t have to be blinded by lifestyles which preserve patriarchal wealth. Mainstream climate narratives are primarily energy-focused and ignore land-based solutions. We can lift up the Indigenous leaders who are already preserving Mother Earth and can support the returning farmers all over the country who are already answering Creator’s call to love the land and feed the people. These young adults have left prestigious jobs and lucrative incomes to answer this call. Surely we can leave our despair and join the circles of new life forming around the globe.

My blessed assurance is confirmed by the soil scientists who extol the wisdom of Earth’s regenerative powers. They tell us to restore one percent of the global landscape to its pre-colonial design, and climate chaos will naturally reverse. The environmental narrative has been controlled by the meteorologists. And like journalists on the Titanic, they are very carefully documenting our demise. It is time to pass the media baton to the soil scientists who can accurately chart our recovery. The more we tithe our land back to God’s original design, the more our social and weather climates will normalize. God’s promise plus a scientific blueprint equals success in this lifetime. In fact based on the way soil regenerates, we can see a difference within five years.

I am seeding a resilience that pulls out fear by its roots. Will you work with me to release the fears and plant perfected love and peace in our social and weather climates? Let’s do this together! Happy healing ♥ ️! May we all be sustained in regenerative life!

About the Author

Trained as a Climate Reality Leader and spiritual director, Rev Dele supports spiritual leaders and Earthkeepers who are struggling with burnout and rage. As grandmother, theologian and permaculture professor Dele teaches that justice begins with inner balance and flows through a community in diverse banks of love.

Dele is developing national initiatives that will calm our social and weather chaos. The Spirit of Resilience radio show raises a platform for women leaders all over the globe. It serves as a beacon of light for those returning to Mother Earth wisdom. The emerging Soil & Souls cooperative plans to train 300 mission leaders who strengthen resilience in communities that need it most. Her newest book Breath of Life is a five-week Bible study that helps us grow closer to God and grow a secure community by loving creation. She also serves as member of the Advisory Council for the Hudson Valley Community Wealth Fund, the National Congress of Black American Indians, board member of Permaculture Association of the Northeast, and the UCC Climate Council.
Contact: rev@revdele.com

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