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9 March

Ten-year-old Toma loves growing things.

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

The prophet Jeremiah offers us the evocative image of a fruitful tree planted near water to describe the person who trusts in God.

Trees play such a vital role for people and the planet. They absorb carbon dioxide and release clean oxygen. They provide homes for wildlife. They give us food and materials for tools, shelter and medicines. They can guard us against flooding. 

Ten-year-old Toma lives in southern Bangladesh. She enjoys football, dancing and growing things in her garden. She loves the fruit trees she planted that help feed her family and protect their home from extreme weather caused by the climate crisis. Last year, cyclones uprooted the trees and destroyed much of what Toma had grown.

Toma remembers: “We saw trees had been uprooted on our land…All the little plants that we had in the garden were destroyed. That made me feel sad.”

However, Toma persisted, helping to replant the trees. She recognises and teaches others about the benefits that trees bring.

“I’ve learnt that trees give us oxygen and make our environment safe,” she says, “because trees can protect us during storms by making the winds slow down. I’ve told my friends about this too, and they’ve also planted trees because of it.”

This Lent, let’s stand in solidarity with Toma as we face the climate crisis. Let’s live in a way that recognises the interconnectedness of all creation and our duty to nurture it. As we do so, we try to be like the tree rooted in God’s presence, trusting in him, growing in love and never ceasing to bear fruit.

Lent prayer

God of growth,
may your words take root in our hearts,
that the branches of our love
may shelter and protect all the earth.


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