Faithlink Discussion: Oil Spill in the Gulf

by Jacob Juncker

Monday night the electricity went out in our house.  Even after some coaxing with special claps and mandates to the lights, the electricity remained off.  Chandra and I just sat there in our darkened home looking at each other.  It was raining and there was “nothing” to do.  Finally, Chandra exclaimed, “This sucks.”  I couldn’t have agreed more.

I resonate with the blogger, Tracey Bianchi, whose blog title says it all, “I’m Part of the Reason For That Oil Spill.”  I recognize my own dependence on oil.  From October 2009 to April 2010, I was driving nearly 1000 miles a month for the church; and, that did not include my in-town visits and errands.  I could not have done it without the use of my car and the gallons of gasoline needed to drive from Lafayette to Kokokmo.  I recognize my dependence upon oil, even as I write this blog on my computer, listening to music, in my air-conditioned office.  Oil is used in nearly everything around us.  Check it out:

I recognize my dependence on natural resources; that is why the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is not just BP’s problem.  The oil spill is my problem.  I “demand” those resources, in order that I might live my life “comfortably.”  The conumdrum was poetically proclaimed in the words of my wife, “this sucks!”

I’ve put myself in a seemingly impossible situation where I rely upon resources that put others and, quite literally, the world in danger.  May God help me (and you) better understand how to be a faithful steward of Creation for the glory of the God the Creator.

Forgive us, O God,
for the foolish ways we handle the irreplaceable gifts
that you have so graciously provided.

Forgive us,
for acting as though our needs were so important
that we were justified in endangering the least of your creatures,
those who live by the shores,
and even the ocean itself!
Grant your wisdom, O God to all involved in oil cleanup.

Forgive us,
for the sins of apathy and indifference
when trouble comes to someone else’s doorstep.
Show us how to weep with those who weep on this day.


We bow in prayer today
for oil-soaked creatures
and oil-soaked lives
For anyone who labors and toils to redeem the mistakes of others
For all who suffer through no fault of their own.

Have mercy, O God, upon the people of the Gulf Coast
who once again suffer through an out-of-control situation.
Have mercy upon all you have created that live in the Gulf,
bird and bug
creatures that swim or walk
and the people who have lived there for generations.

Have mercy upon all these and any who stand to inherit their troubles.  Amen.

“Prayer for an Oil-Soaked Gulf” by Safiyah Fosua.  Copyright General Board of Discipleship.  Used with permission.