It is inevitable that one pays closer attention to things that have a closer impact on us. I confess, hurricane Fiona didn’t garner my scrutiny until it was evident that Fiona was going to barrel into the place where my daughter is currently living. I now lean in to hear the news about Ukraine. I want details that formerly would have been lost on me before a couple from there moved into our garage apartment.
It is human nature to attend to that which is right in front of us and ignore that which doesn’t directly affect us. Frankly, we need do some of that filtering to function. Nonetheless, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are to remember that we are called to care for the world God so loves. I ought to be as concerned for the children of Puerto Rico as I am for my child in Halifax. Thankfully, this is a collective call, not just an individual one. There is no way anyone of us can care for everyone, all the time. Hence, this call, as one theologian puts it, to “be the priest of creation” is that of the whole church.
We are members of the body of Christ and Christ’s body spans the globe. All those parts do their part and we do ours, trusting that God takes, blesses and distributes all that we offer in faith. Even as we work to expand our circles of concern and care, others are too and like bread on the hillside, care and concern gets multiplied.
The Thursday night before the Friday that Fiona made landfall in Nova Scotia my daughter scrambling to get ready for its impact got in a fender bender, calling us at 9 o’clock at night frightened and upset. We had that helpless feeling of knowing we couldn’t be there for her in that stressful moment. We encouraged her to call one of her friends. About an hour later she called back. She was home and with her friend. Not only had her friend gone to meet her on the side of the road, Peter, her friend’s dad came, too. He followed her home, making sure the car was drivable and she got there safely. He cared for my child as if she were his own and I will be forever grateful.
That’s how this human family is supposed to work and sometimes, it does.
As we see the devastation in Florida or hear about the war in a faraway region, let’s remember someone is watching the news of that place very closely. Maybe their child or their parent is there. Remember it could be a member of our family. Remember that they are surely a precious member of God’s household. When we remember this we will respond with care and concern, prayer and resources, that we can trust will be blessed and multiplied until everyone, everywhere has what they need.