What Must I Do

How could I not be proud of what my hands had built
I felled trees and cleared land for a place called home
Worthy logs were carefully stacked for the woodstove
In the bonfire, trimming’s smoke rose gloriously high

Then the excavator came to dig the foundation hole
Bulldozers buried boulders to level the sloping land
Concrete walls were poured extra thick for strength
Carpenters assembled the wooden studs and beams 

Trucks full of gravel backfilled a gap of what was left
Plywood and siding protected the outside from peril
A roof of asbestos shingles kept rain and snow at bay
Inside, spun fiberglass retained the heat from escaping

Sheetrock extracted from rock provided a flat surface
for wallpapers of peaceful pastel colors to beautify
Hardwood floors were sealed with polyurethane for wear
I assembled wooden cabinets to hold all our treasures

It goes on as there is more and more that I have built
I have worked hard for my house to be a family home
But today I fear what I have done could be vice’s sin
As what I made and call home came at a moral price

I took, with no consideration for what was left behind
A forest stripped for wood, can I assume it grew back
Gravel taken from God’s earth so I could be fulfilled
Dangerous chemicals hide unsuspecting everywhere

I was so proud, thinking hard work earned its blessing
Now I am torn, my heart sad, can I ever feel redeemed
What have I done, what more do I still do, can it stop
Freedom exposed creation’s story, God, what must I do



I had come to believe building a home was every person’s dream.  To help with your own hands makes it seem even more fulfilling. However, as I have learned more about my personal role in creation, I see I am no less guilty than the same people that are profiting from God’s gifts of resources. 

My recent encounter with a large gravel pit made me realize where all the materials of my home came from.  I have no doubt of my own responsibility of leaving behind a path of destruction.  I’m slowly learning how the entire Cosmos interrelates and how I can pray that God helps us restore it and our lost values.

For further reflection: Isaiah 55