Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Difference to One

"The Star Thrower"

This story is told based on the original work of L Eiseley's allegory called the "The Star Thrower"

A father was walking for miles along a white sand beach covered with dying starfish with his son. As he watched his son, he had stopped walking and rolled up his sleeves. Then he picked up a starfish and threw it into the ocean. He watched as his son diligently worked at scooping up starfish and throwing one by one back into the sea. After an extended time and curious, he asked, “What are you doing with the starfish?” His son replied "When the tide goes out it leaves these starfish stranded all over this beach. They will dry up and die before the tide comes back --- so I am throwing them back into the sea where they can live."
His father then asked him, "But this beach is miles long and there are thousands upon thousands of stranded starfish, most will die before you reach them. Do you really think throwing a few starfish back into the ocean is really going to make a difference?"
His son picked up a starfish and looked at his father and then at the starfish. He then drew back his arm and gave a mighty throw with the starfish landing in the waves. He turned to his father and said, "It makes a difference to that one."

No doubt you have heard this popular story before. I heard it for the first time when seeking insight from our adoption caseworker, who has worked tirelessly in Haiti for years. I was feeling overwhelmed by the inability to help the country of Haiti in any truly productive way, having spent the last 2 years searching for the answers that would put a dent in the problems that plague the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. She used this as an analogy with regard to our adoption. Our family could make a difference to one (or two.)

I've always been one who wants to make a difference in a HUGE thousands. As I've matured, I've realized that this desire was more about me than it was about God and His glory.

Milonia is just one of thousands in Haiti suffering from an deadly illness that needs continual monitoring yet is neglected because of a lack of resources as well as education.

Yes, as an individual, I am helpless to change the politics, culture, and satanic forces that plague Haiti. But I can reach out to "the least of these" individually; teach the gospel to one person; feed, clothe, give water to that one person. God can use us to make a difference to one.

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