Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7
In the glory of the changing seasons; in the beauty of the aurora; we bless you God our creator. In the care for each and every part of your creation we are comforted that there are neither too many nor too few for your attention. We confess that sometimes we are distracted by numbers:
- How do we cope when there are 17 million Yemenis – almost two thirds of the population – critically food insecure and requiring urgent humanitarian assistance, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) said. That’s more than the total number of people affected by food insecurity in South Sudan (4.9m), Somalia (2.9m) and northeast Nigeria (4.7m) combined. Children are particularly at risk with two million children under the age of five acutely malnourished.
- How do we cope when there are mounting deaths in the Iraq cities of Mosul and Raqqa and continuing deaths in the Mediterranean Sea and news emerging of deaths from meningitis in Nigeria?
- How do we cope when 4 people and a terrorist are shot in London, U.K.?
- What do we do when Cyclone Debbie causes havoc across Hamilton Island and across Queensland, Australia, yet some in authority are determined to deny the evidence of global climate change and repeal laws to curb this?
- With an elephant killed by poachers “every 25 minutes” and zoos resorting to removing rhino horns for their protection, extinction is apparently inevitable – how can we save the complex ecosystem of our world and which we barely understand? Encourage our generosity as more than 25 zoos around the world are working to preserve rhino populations.
- We are encouraged by the further discernment of the governor of Cross River State in Nigeria as a super highway design is being revised to circumvent impact on the pristine forest, indigenous communities and habitat for gorillas. There are other sparrows including the pangolins, forest elephants and chimpanzees that need our consideration.
- Unusual El Nino storm patterns bring devastating floods in Peru, but snow in parts of the Canary Islands replenishes water supplies.
And yet, and yet there is good news. Extinction is not reversed but evidence has emerged that the Tasmanian tiger may still exist in parts of Indonesia. The South American Tagua seeds found in Panama and in the Andes of Ecuador, Bolivia, Columbia, northwestern Brazil and Peru, known as vegetable ivory or “plant elephant,” may be increasingly used in place of elephant ivory. Continuing study of the complex Kaikoura, New Zealand earthquake helps us unravel more of the marvels of our ecosystem. We learn to consider best practice for water storage and flood control. Strangely, we read that Tonga is giving chicks to communities in a fight against obesity. We read of the helping hands for an exhausted runner in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. half marathon “love run”.
All these are little things in the face of the huge problems the media talk about too little, it would seem, to make a difference. The thing is, Creator God, numbers and size don’t matter to you: one by one we make a difference because you make all the difference in the world. Amen