The Butterfly Effect

by Dr. Karen Oliveto, Pastor
There is a phenomenon known as the Butterfly Effect —it states that the world is such a delicate and connected eco-system that a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can cause a weather change in New York City.
Since March 11th, we have known just how true the Butterfly Effect is. It is hard to believe that an earthquake which leveled the landscape in Japan could cause millions of dollars in damages more than 5000 miles away due to the ensuing tsunami .  Many of us on the West Coast have family, friends, and friends of friends in Japan and wait anxiously for a daily update from them.  The eyes of the world have nervously watched the nuclear reactors as they belch radioactive clouds into the atmosphere and reach critical levels as efforts to contain them continue to fail.
Due to the earthquake, we are seeing the Butterfly Effect multiply its impact as the whole world is effected.
I wonder, as I watch and listen, whether  this can be an opportunity for us to recognize in ways greater than ever before, how connected we are to one another, the earth, and all living things?  As we mourn the terrible loss of life, can we commit ourselves to new life together? Can we diminish our differences and recognize our common humanity?  Are we able to recognize that what we do, the choices we make daily, have consequences to those we may never meet?  Are we able to stand in solidarity with those whose suffering is beyond our comprehension?  Can we care for one another and all of creation in ways that offering healing and wholeness?
Let us engage in radical acts of love and care, and trust that through the butterfly effect, our actions will increase and multiply, and be a soothing balm in the midst of a broken world.
Want to do something for the people of Japan? Make a donation to UMCOR. This organization is already on the ground, partnering with local organizations to assess and respond to the devastation.  100% of your donation will go directly to relief efforts. (GLDE is also a recipient of donations from this organization).