When I read the staggering statistics and stories of global poverty, I find two things very difficult to swallow. First of all, It's hard to believe that thirty thousand children die of hunger and preventable diseases every day. It's hard to grasp that some people really do have to watch their families literally die in front of them due to the lack of attainable resources including food and water. I am reluctant to believe that 6,000 people--that's about three times the amount of people with whom I went to high school--die every single day from AIDS in Africa. If I am honest with myself, I just can't believe that things are so bad. I can't believe that we have allowed things to get so bad.
Secondly, I can't believe that in such a time as this, the problem is so relatively easy to solve. I can't believe that just a portion of the United States' annual military budget would completely solve world hunger. I can't believe that it would take only "2 percent of the world's grain harvest would be enough, if shared , to erase the problem of hunger and malnutrition around the world! (Rich Christians by Ron Sider, page 10).
These two truths, I cannot grasp.
But it's easy to look at big percentages. The truth is, the value of one life is equal to that of a billion. God loves us all the same! Even if it was only one poor neighbor, we should still be baffled that anyone would allow them to go hungry. Even if the situation was impossible to fix (and many would say it is) we, as those who remember Christ and his sacrifice, should refuse not to love the ones in need and even to share our identity with them. As big and expansive as things are in the world, the particularity of the incarnation frees us to love one person at a time without restraint.