I could throw around so many more numbers that you’d have to be a real stats junkie to keep reading. If you want more like that, Joshua Project is a great place to go. But it doesn’t take long before all those numbers begin to feel overwhelming – or like some kind of artificial reality. After all, a number doesn’t move us the way a real person does. A number is data that informs our mind, but a face is a neighbor that touches our heart. That’s why it is known among aid agencies that the calamities that draw the television cameras will get far more dollars than more serious tragedies that are merely reported in print.
Though I understand why this would be, I still believe that numbers have great value in helping us to understand the state of the world. Do you know how many people are on this planet? Do you care to know how many of those people still have no Christian witness living among them? Or do you want to know how many people in this modern world still live without safe drinking water, or how many kids in
But the million dollar question is, What good are such numbers – even the ones that pertain to our passions – if we aren’t going to do anything about them? The danger, of course, is that if all we do is read the data and do nothing with it, we will become bloated with facts and calloused to the plights of the people they represent. We’ve got to act! Ezekiel says that the sin of God’s people was that they were “arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” I live in a land of physical and spiritual abundance, and that leaves me feeling vulnerable to the same thing being said of me! And it is for that reason that numbers matter to me. Numbers like how many are in need, how many are unreached, how much money do I earn, how much can I share? I can’t respond to all the numbers – and nor am I expected to – but I can do something about the numbers that tally the things God has given me passion for. And that is why there is great value in numbers.
© 2008 by Ken Peters
© 2008 by Ken Peters