All of life on earth is preciousa gift from God. With this gift comes responsibility. Like any gift, it is to be cared for and appreciated.
As a physician, my job was to take care of people. In the emergency room, I saw a lot of what could go wrong with the human body.
It was not my job to judge the patientonly to treat the disease. If a finger was dangling off, I sewed it back on. If children came in with croup, I helped them breath again. If a drunk got in a fight, I repaired the damage.
Diagnosing a problem and fixing it is good work; I found great satisfaction in sending people out of the ER in better shape than when they came in. But in some cases, I couldnt help thinking that it would have been even better if we could have prevented the damage in the first place.
The same is true for the earth. God is in the life-giving business. He has put all of creation in our care. We are to use the gifts He has given us, but never abuse them. We are to be good stewards of our own livesand of all life on earth.
For more of Dr. Sleeths reflections, see the Blessed Earth Hope for Creation Films and Guidebooks (Zondervan 2010).