It is a horrible fact that we can read in the daily paper, without interrupting our breakfast, numerical reckonings of death and destruction that ought to break our hearts or scare us out of our wits. This brings us to an entirely practical question: Can we–and if we can, how can we–make actual in our minds the sometimes urgent things we say we know? This obviously can not be accomplished by a technological breakthrough, nor can it be accomplished by a big thought. Perhaps it cannot be accomplished at all. – Wendell Berry, The Jefferson Lecture
So can we? Who really can wrap their heads around the collective and massive agony of a planet gone mad? And even if we could, would we be capable of the herculean effort that it would require to correct the situation? Do we even know how? And even if we did, how many people would care enough?
And is it even up to us? The Bible says that it isn’t:
I well know, O Jehovah, that man’s way does not belong to him. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step. – Jeremiah 10:23
So what does God really expect of us? Do we just stand by and watch as the world goes up in smoke?
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”+37 He said to him: “‘You must love Jehovah* your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul* and with your whole mind.’+ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 The second, like it, is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’+ 40 On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets.”+ – Matthew 22: 36-40
So, although God promises to step in and handle the things that we cannot fix on our own, he has always expected people to show love. Most of what destroys and hurts people and other living beings is behavior that is the opposite of love. We can, as Gandhi so famously said, “be the change” we wish to see in the world as we wait patiently for God’s intervention.