God heals the earth, and he heals us. We are restored to one another. The earth waits for our healing, and we wait for the earth’s healing. I believe our healing brings about something of the healing of the earth, and I’m certain the healed earth helps to usher in our healing.
Our Enemy is the Great Divider. His most poisonous work takes place at the level of fragmentation, dividing families, churches, and fomenting racial hatred. He uses pain and suffering to create deep divisions within our own beings. You see his work right there, in the beginning of our tragic story, when he slithers into Eden to divide humanity from God, from one another, and from the earth. He traumatizes human beings, then separates them from the earth that could bring about their healing. In his highly researched book Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv documents how postmodern human beings suffer badly the physical and mental harms of “nature deficit disorder.” Our lives have become cut off from the Garden we were meant to flourish in.
Nature heals, dear ones; nature heals. God has ordained that in the new earth it is river water that brings us life and leaves that are used for our healing:
Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. (Revelation 22:1–2 NLT)
We will hear nature in full chorus. It will mingle with the laughter and music and aromas of the feast itself, and we will wander in and out, drinking it all in, practically swimming in the healing powers of creation, feeling Life permeate every last corner of our being. Happiness and joy will overcome us; sorrow and its sighing will vanish forever.