So, this girl has been in Haiti for a week serving hurting people. You can read about her journey on this blog. And it has reminded me of two things…my trip to India and a story my dad used to tell (there are a million versions of it out there) about an old man.
So this guy was out early in the morning walking along the sea shore. Every once in a while he would stoop over to pick something up and then he would haul off and throw it in the ocean. This young guy, out for a morning jog, saw him and wondered what the old guy was doing. Then he got close enough to see that the old man was picking up starfish and throwing them back into the sea. As soon as he realized that he noticed thousands of tiny starfish stranded on the beach. The young man was so intrigued that he stopped to ask why. And this is what the old guy said…”Well, these little guys will die in the morning sun. They need to get back in the water in order to survive.” Although the young man was impressed with the old man’s valiant effort, he said “What’s the point…you can’t possibly make a difference…there must be thousands out here.” The old man looked at the starfish in his hand, tossed out into the safety of the ocean and said…
“It made a difference to that one.”
And this is what I think of when I think of my friend in Haiti and the daunting work that has been in front of them all week. It has been my prayer that God would allow their vision to focus not so much on the insurmountable destruction all around them, but more narrowly on the individuals that that they did help this week. Because, none of those people will be the same. There work made a difference in the lives of those who otherwise wouldn’t have made it to a hospital. And even if they did, did not have the money to pay for what was necessary to save them.
And it reminds me of India and the overwhelming darkness. I didn’t think of this story while I was there. I should have…it would have helped my perspective. Because although I came home feeling as though I didn’t even leave a dent in that country, I have been reminded this week that it mattered to those I did see and touch and love on. That God used me to make a difference in the lives of some very beautiful “starfish”
Because, no matter how small the work seems…
it matters to that one