I hope you are well and having a good morning.
Recently, I have been thinking a lot about an old story. I first heard this story whilst preparing for a mission trip to the Dominican Republic.
You may have heard this story before, but I thought I would share it with you.
Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)
I do love this story. I think it very accurately portrays the Christian journey. We are often doing small acts of kindness day in and day out, even during this pandemic. We are still being a Church. We are still walking with our friends, encouraging them and offering support albeit from a distance.
I hope this story encourages you to keep trying, to keep doing small kindnesses and gestures. Because like the little boy said "it made a difference to that one!"