The Ripple Effect

As I am sure everyone is aware, yesterday there was a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami off the coast of Japan. The destruction and suffering is horrific and historic…a disaster on an unbelievable scale.

Yesterday, we had our own little ripple of the disaster here in El Salvador. The tsunami that was spawned by the earthquake travelled thousands of miles around the world, carried by the Pacific Ocean. The effects were felt in Hawaii, the West Coast of the United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Honduras, and even here in our little nation of El Salvador. The beach towns were cleared and schools along the coasts were closed for the day. When all was said and done, we only had a slight raise in our wave level. A slight little surge and that was it. Thankfully, the damage around the world to other nations was not what it could have been.

But it got me thinking how interconnected we all are around the globe. The earth shakes in Japan on the complete other side of the world, and eventually we have a little effect on our shores. It’s amazing that the world is divided into so many languages, peoples, and cultures yet we are all one. Events that happen to others move us all. That can certainly be seen with the outpouring of prayers and aid to Japan from all around the world.

But how much more connected is the global body of Christ? Yesterday I realized that I don’t think all that often about what is happening in Asia. And many times I am so busy in my own little corner of the world that I kind of forget what’s happening in the Middle East, or in Africa. But these regions are home to some of the most persecuted followers of Christ in the world. These are the places where it’s a crime to have a church service, illegal to read the Bible, and following Christ often means following Him to your death.

I Corinthians says 12: 12 -13 says:  “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.”

This verse shows us that we are ONE if we are followers of Christ. Ethnic background, country, culture, economic status, class, age, and gender don’t divide us. We are one, wherever we are. Just like the human body, if one part is hurting the whole body is affected. So if the hand in Asia is being persecuted, and the foot in the Middle East, and the leg in North Africa then we all should be suffering we all should be crying out…all who follow Christ should feel that ripple.

It shouldn’t take a tsunami from Asia showing up on my country’s shores to remind me that parts of my same body are hurting. They are crying out, they are suffering, they are struggling.

I don’t know if there is anything that I can exactly do to alleviate any of that. But I can pray, stand with them, and send resources as the opportunities arrive. And then maybe, I can send some ripples their way too.

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