THE BIG PICTURE

It seems like we get almost immune to hearing the news these days. There’s so much coverage, from all over the world, and its 24-7, day after day, to the point where we can almost tune it out. Many times we do.

Another 50 people killed in roadside car bombs in Iraq; just another day over there. And there were over a dozen people dead gang related shootings up in Chicago. But down here, are we going to the game tonight? What are we having for supper? Somewhere along the way, we’ve become a calloused people.

Still, something caught my eye a little while ago. They found a woman, still alive after 17 days of being buried in rubble after an earthquake in Bangladesh. Oh, another one of those. It seems like we’re always hearing about earthquakes. But then I saw the death toll. At that time, it was over a thousand people!

This had happened several days ago. I didn’t even know they’d had an earthquake over there, and I’m a news junkie. I often catch several hours a day, between watching cable news while working out, working at the gym, or listening to the radio in the car.

Even as I was reading the story about the girl they’d found alive, something in me was horrified that I hadn’t been horrified. It had all somehow just slipped by me.

At that moment, I realized I needed to stop and offer up a prayer for… all those affected. And also for myself, that I’d be a little more aware of people that are hurting, whether they’re halfway around the world, or here in our own neighborhood. And I started paying attention.

We all hate to see people in trouble and suffering, especially if it’s someone we know, or are close to. It’s been about a week since the massive tornado that nearly wiped out an entire community near Oklahoma City. For a few days, the devastation dominated the news cycle to the point where that was all you saw on cable news.

A huge number of families lost everything, much like in the other natural disasters we’ve seen over the years, but this was particularly compelling due to the shear scope of things. But it was the people we didn’t hear from that surely had the more heart-wrenching stories.

These were people who had lost people. Perhaps the most horrific story was where all those children were crushed in the rubble of that grade school. We just can’t comprehend what that must be like, but we can all identify with the families who have lost loved ones.

And what do you do when something like that happens? I’m amazed at the human spirit that can somehow rise above things like that. Even in the worst of times, some are able to maintain their hope and the faith that “even though this is really bad, God will help us get through it.”

You’ve probably seen stories about parents who have suffered a tragic loss like in a school shooting, but then turned that grief into a foundation that helps others in the memory of their lost child. It helps bring meaning to their loss, and lets their loved one live on in another way.

Over the years, we’ve gotten pretty good at dealing with the little picture around us. In my world, that’s teaching people how to learn how to focus, get healthy, and protect themselves, all worthy things. But I’m starting to become aware that there’s something higher. God help us learn to be a little more aware of the big picture going on around us.

If you’d like to help the recovery effort in Oklahoma, there are easy ways to do it, like contributing to an organization like Samaritan’s Purse, Red Cross, or even the United Way. It just takes a minute to help groups who can be our hands and feet working down there and making a difference.

Feel free to contact me through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tomdolanfitness if you have any questions about the little picture, or comments about the big picture.

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