A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Saturday, January 08, 2022

Big Picture Thinking Is Difficult

In an episode of Star Trek, "The Immunity Syndrome," Mr. Spock responds to Dr. McCoy: "You find it easier to understand the death of one than the death of a million. You speak about the objective hardness of the Vulcan heart, yet how little room there seems to be in yours." (video below)

We get it when the neighbor next door is hospitalized with COVID, but we can't seem to get our heads around the numbers that have put our health care system under such strain. Thus, we resort to phrases of dismissal like, "It's just like the flu," or "Only 2% of people who get COVID actually die."

It is not easy being a big picture person. Being microscopic is so much easier because it's simpler. This is why we divide the world up into liberal/conservative, left/right, right/wrong and a whole host of other binaries. It makes reality simpler and more comfortable.

But a macroscopic vision makes the binaries inadequate to explain the actual complexities of our situation. Macroscopic vision resists our desire to tie up the world in neat easy to understand categories. It's easier to comprehend a Christ who is a simple first-century teacher who speaks little nuggets of daily wisdom than a cosmic deliverer who has his sights on the redemption of creation and who calls us to bear witness to that redemption in creation care, loving our neighbor in a large way, and seeing our own individual acts as loving our neighbors who we don't even know. To say, "I have a right not to wear a mask" is microscopic thinking. To say, "I wear a mask to love my neighbors (even the ones I've never met) is macroscopic.

As I continue to say, you can find love your neighbor all throughout Scripture; nowhere can you find an appeal to individual rights. 

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