“Jesus said, “‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’” Matthew 19:14
We are bombarded daily with immediate and often overwhelming news stories of people in terrible crisis. We wonder if there is really anything we can do that will truly make a difference. It made me think of the popular starfish story, adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley (1907-1977). It has appeared all over the internet in various forms since the late 1980s. Sometimes it’s a little girl, sometimes a young man, some have even had Jesus, as the one throwing starfish into the ocean. No matter who the main character is, it’s a good story that always has the same thought-provoking ending.
Once upon a time, there was a man who often went to the ocean to do his writing. He loved to stroll on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so he walked faster to catch up. As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean. He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?” The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean.” "I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the curious writer. To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.” Upon hearing this, the man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!” At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and gently tossed it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one!”
As you may have already heard, 40 children last Sunday are now connected with loving sponsors. You have truly made a difference in the world - thank you! We are glad to partner with Compassion Canada (International) in this endeavor as a church. They are one of the world’s leading child development organizations. I love how they are a Christ-centered ministry who work closely with over 6,500 local churches in 26 countries to end poverty in the lives of children and their families.
Kendra Sloan (Compassion Rep) and Jay Calder asked me to thank everyone who followed God’s leading in their lives to sponsor a child. If you brought a child pack home with you last week and haven’t yet sent in the sponsorship information, be sure to do it early this week. Some of you asked for children from specific countries with specific dates, please know that Kendra is working on fulfilling those requests.
Thank you again to everyone who made a difference in the lives of these dear children so that they may be, as Compassion says, “released from poverty in Jesus’ name.”