The Red Cross has a slogan, “Think Globally, Act Locally.” In other words, keep the big picture in mind while not letting that stop you from doing the work which needs done here in the present.
It’s been nearly two years since I helped with Red Cross, but I remember being surprised at the beginning by how many disasters happen here locally. That’s because of the definition they use for disaster: any event which disrupts a person or family’s basic physical necessities. Which they define as Food, Shelter, and Clothing.
Interestingly, those are items even Jesus recognized as needs, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” (Matt 6:31-32) And Paul, “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” (1 Timothy 6:8)
House fires are the #1 disasters here locally. In Wichita alone there are well over 100 per year. That’s a couple per week. A house fire may not seem like much of a disaster, but it can affect the residents drastically. Especially if they are very poor or do not have fire insurance.
Of the fires I responded to with the Red Cross, most were in lower income sections of town. Some start with electrical shorts, and those are more likely to occur in older homes. I’ve been to several started by someone smoking while on oxygen. Bad combination. Tragically, one of those was a fatality. I remember it felt eerie standing directly over the spot a man had burned to death (or died of smoke inhalation) about an hour earlier. His roommate was in shock.
These examples may seem drastic, but there are hurting people all around. The needs directly around us are tremendous. Within our families, in our church, those in our spheres of inluence. People are hurting. Locally.
It’s easy to become carried away with the world’s problems. Yet it’s important to live in the present, meeting the needs we see directly around us. I have to remind myself, “Think Globally, but act Locally!”