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Changing the World
by Rubel Shelly

    Many of us dream of being involved in something that will change the world. So one person becomes active in politics, another in education, and still another in a business or profession that stands to affect the masses. But the crime rate remains high, and we cannot build prisons fast enough to avoid overcrowding in our jails. Poverty continues to grind whole families beneath its crushing weight. Homelessness, cancer, aging, child abuse, divorce, teen pregnancy — the problems are staggering.

    God has created us in his own image. Thus we not only notice these problems that blight our world and cause so much misery but also feel compelled to try to do something to help. But is it really possible for any of us to make a difference?

    The first atomic bomb used in war was dropped over Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945. Dr. Fumio Shigeto was waiting for a streetcar about a mile from the center of the blast. He was sheltered from its deadly force by the corner of a concrete building. Stunned and disoriented by an explosive force more devastating than anything humankind had ever experienced, he had no idea what had happened.

They were simple people, with simple lives...
    Dr. Shigeto’s bewilderment quickly turned into a sense of being overwhelmed. He was one physician with a tiny black bag still in his hand. Yet all around him he could hear the screams of desperately wounded men and women. He needed an army of physicians, nurses, and technicians. He needed tons of supplies. He needed every bed in dozens of hospitals. What could one man with so little at his disposal do in the face of such an incredible situation of need? The stunned survivor knelt, opened his medical bag, and began treating the person lying at his feet.

    Dr. Shigeto’s experience parallels our own. We look around and see such incredible devastation in our world that it is easy to be paralyzed and do nothing. After all, what difference can one person make against such formidable odds?

    God doesn’t expect you to change the world. He is not holding you accountable for helping everybody in need. That is too heavy and impossible a burden for anyone. But there is a hint of what you can and ought to do in the example of Jesus. Although he preached to huge crowds, he touched and healed people one at a time.

    There is one lonely person or one frightened child you can help today. There is someone you know whose marriage is in trouble or who is about to die from her alcoholism. There is a kid failing history class or a friend at work who is depressed.

    Forget about changing the world. Reach out to just one person near you today.

From Rubel Shelly's "FAX of Life" printed each Tuesday. See http://www.faithmatters.com for previous issues of the "FAX of Life."

HEARTLIGHT(R) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Copyright © 1996-97, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
© 1999 Rubel Shelly. Used by permission.