Missions, social justice

Doris the Starfish

May 5, 2009 • By

starfish1

There is a group of interns that I have the honor of meeting with on a regular basis.  We pray together, read the dead guys, and hold each other accountable.  For a few months now, we’ve been mulling over Isaiah 58.  It’s really gotten a hold of us! Break the chains of injustice, set the oppressed free, and feed the hungry.  It’s a picture of God’s heart and a list of things that we should be doing if we call ourselves believers.

It’s so easy to look at the massive need in our world and become totally overwhelmed!  But God doesn’t ask us to fix it all, he just asks us to do something.  So my four interns decided to sponsor a child in Kenya (that’s her picture above).  They combined what little spare income they had and gave it to an orphanage so that a little girl can have food, shelter, and clothing.  It’s an incredible honor when we act and become the answer to someone’s prayer. I know what you’re thinking, “So what.  It’s only one little girl.  What kind of difference will it make in the long run?”

Consider the following story by Loren Eiseley.  My youth pastor used to tell it to me when I was a teenager:

Once, after the tide went out, there were thousands of starfish laying out on the beach.  They were dying because there was no way for them to get back into the water.  The sun was rising and the poor starfish were literally baking in the heat.  Running along the beach was a little boy.  He was frantically grabbing the starfish and tossing them back into the ocean.  As he continued along the beach, he met an older man.  When the old man asked what he was doing, he explained that he was saving the starfish from dying on the beach.  The man replied, “Are you crazy?  The beach goes on for miles and there are thousands of starfish out here.  How can you think you can possibly make a difference?”  The boy reached down, grabbed a starfish, tossed it into the ocean, and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

I received a new picture, the other day, of our little starfish named Doris.  She’s wearing a school uniform and has the most beautiful smile on her face.  It was a $360 picture and was worth every cent! As you wonder if you can possibly make a difference in a world with so much poverty, disease, and hunger please realize you can. You may not be able to save the world, but you can make a difference in the life of a starfish or two.