Submitted. Leah Kostamo is an Earthkeeper and Storyteller. She is also the author of the new book Planted: A Story of Creation, Calling, and Community (Cascade Books, 2013), a book full of lyrical prose, abundant humour, and thoughtful biblical theology, in which Kostamo invites readers to joyfully embrace “earthkeeping” as an essential part of the Christian experience.
As Eugene Peterson, author of The Message, confesses in his foreword, Planted is a book that’s hard to put down. Intending to read it for only a few minutes before addressing his own manuscript, Peterson admits to reading Planted straight through in a five hour sitting instead. He goes on to commend Kostamo’s gift as a storyteller when he writes, “Instead of making a pitch or sermon or propagandistic tract on creation care, Leah has woven everything into a narrative, a story with characters and movement and relationship, and Jesus.”
Planted’s hard-to-put-down quality lies in the fact that is not a “how to” book, but a “how so” book in which the reader is invited to travel with Leah on the wild ride of salmon saving, stranger welcoming and God worshiping as she and her husband Markku work to establish the first Christian environmental centre in Canada through the ministry of A Rocha. (www.arocha.ca) Kostamo’s witty, down-to-earth literary style, coupled with her own winsome illustrations, bring rich characters to life as they navigate the journey of creation care and simpler living. In one clever instance, she manages to illuminate the theology of earthkeeping through a very humorous story about her 70-year-old, bikini-wearing mother-in-law!
Avoiding simplistic prescriptions or cliché platitudes, Kostamo wrestles with issues of poverty, justice, and the environment through the narrative of her own life experience. The lived-theology and joyfulness of spirit conveyed in these pages draws readers to new and creative ways to honour the Creator as they are inspired to care for creation.