The Starfish Story
(adapted from The Star Thrower, by Lauren Eisley)
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking 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 somewhat startled wiseman.
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, this wise 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 threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said...
"It made a difference for that one".
My husband often has to remind me that I cannot save the world. I know that. I wish I could. But I can't.
There are 147 million orphans in the world. I certainly can't be a Mom to 147 million orphans. (HA! I don't even do Mom to four very well.)
The orphan crisis seems insurmountable. The multitude of reasons behind the orphan crisis seem even MORE insurmountable. Poverty. Famine. Disease. It's overwhelming to me.
But, here's what I can rest my aching heart on...maybe I can't change the world. But, I know that my God can.
I have seen how God works in people's lives. I have seen how just ONE orphan turned beloved son or daughter changes the lives of MANY.
How that one innocent child, that one face, that one story, may be just the one that nudges the hearts of another family and they adopt one.
and then how that one innocent child, that one face, that one story, may just be the one that nudges the hearts of another family and they adopt one.
And one by one lives change.
and then maybe before you know it... you look around (as I do every Sunday during church) and you see the faces of several children who are orphans NO LONGER.
and I see siblings of these children. And I hear them talk. They say things that most 12 year old, 10 year old, 7 year old children don't normally say. They think outside of themselves more than the typical. They think of children here in the US. in China. and Ethiopia. Russia. and Uganda.
Adoption changes lives.
and I'm not talking about the lives of the once orphaned children.
Grace has changed me. Forever.
I know every parent says that about their children. But, this is different.She has taught me about faith. love. and hope. I can't even begin to find the words to describe what she has taught me. It sure makes me wonder what lies ahead for us. Is sure seems that Grace entering our lives...it's just the beginning.
Do I think every family should adopt. Nope. Not saying that.
But, I do think every family should think about ways they can share love with orphans. THAT I do believe we have an obligation to do as humans living on this earth.
Pray for the 147 million orphans all over the world. That they find families. That they have food, water and an education. That the systems that are put in place to protect them, do indeed protect them, but also allow for them to find loving families.
Provide support, either emotional or financial, to families that have decided to adopt a child (or two).
(Here's my plug for my friends adopting two precious children from China, they are traveling in three or four months... please consider chipping in up there in the right corner of my blog!)
Pray for families that are considering adopting one or more of these precious children.
Perhaps your heart leads you to support relief efforts that directly affect orphans. Providing food, water, education to those in need in this country and around the globe.
Sponsor a child.
Mentor a child.
God puts us on this earth to do His work.
While we alone can't change the world... One starfish at time we CAN make a difference.
And remember, to that ONE starfish, your small (or maybe large) act, whatever it is, DOES make a difference.
Just look at the pictures I have posted of these beautiful children. Their faces prove this oh so much better than any words could.