Are These the Worst Places to Be on Earth?

I came across a blogsite today called Listverse;. One post in particular grabbed my attention: 10 Places You Don’t Want to Visit. Have a look. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that these are truly polluted, barren, or otherwise terrible places to spend your holidays.

In spite of their reputation–some of which is the result of our negligence as residents of Earth–one thing came to my mind: God is there too. Even though these are garbage heaps, gas-filled landscapes, death traps, God is present.

Where can I go from your Spirit
or where can I flee from your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.

If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand will lead me
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
(Psalm 139:7-10, NRSV)

Places like the Pacific Ocean Floating Garbage Dump and Canada’s asbestos mines come to mind. God is there. Where we have gone astray in our mission to care for God’s creation, I’m sure his heart grieves–but he is still at places like Chernobyl, the growing Sahara sand waste, and the garbage dumps and toxic streams of the world. And he calls us to be a part of his redemption of creation.

Then there are those places that are naturally horrible places to visit–mud volcanoes, lava fields, snake-infested islands. Yes, God is there too. And these are strange and uniquely wonderful (?) parts of God’s Earth.

I don’t know about you, but I’m still not going to spend my time dreaming of a holiday there!

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