A rough storm came up one night and left a sandy beach strewn with starfish. The next morning a child walked along the shore stopping every few feet to pick up a starfish and fling it back into the sea.
An old man watched the child and finally shouted at him, ” Why bother”, son. There are too many starfish to make a difference.”
With that, the boy picked up another starfish and looked at it intently before heaving it out into the sea,
then turning to the old man he said, ” It makes a difference to this one”. ~ Author Unknown
This story came to life for me 10 years ago when my husband and I were getting ready to travel to China to adopt our daughter. I had a lady ask me why I was doing this and because the abandoned girls in China was such a huge problem did I feel guilty that I could not take them all home. I immediately thought of this story I had read one morning on an adoption web site, the starfish story I shared with you above, and I shared it with this stranger hoping that she could see that I wasn’t trying to solve the One Child Policy of the Nation of China nor was I thinking I could save all the orphans in the world, I just wanted to bring my little girl home. I was trying to be faithful to what God had laid on my heart and my husband’s heart… adoption.
We had been home with our precious Lexi for about five years when I attended a conference where the key note speaker, Elisa Morgan, launched her new book – “She Did What She Could”. This book was life changing for me. I began reading it on the plane ride home and stayed up late into the night finishing it, taking notes, and really thinking how those simple words … ” She Did What She Could” can really have a profound affect on the world if each one of us applied it to our lives. It made me think back to the day I shared the starfish story with a stranger. I realized that if I was faithful to do what God had laid on my heart and share that within my sphere of influence, I could make a difference in this world. I started to think about how this was already working in my life.
When we returned home from our journey to China, we had many family members and friends coming over to meet our little girl. In a few short weeks one of our dear friends said they were wanting to do the same thing. Then another couple started asking questions and we shared our story with them and they too wanted to adopt. Members of our family became interested in adoption, and soon each couple we had talked to was adopting and they were sharing their personal story with others and inspiring more couples in their sphere of influence to adopt as well. WOW – soon it seemed like everyone we knew was adopting – this was amazing to me. A few months ago my friend and I sat down as we were preparing to speak to a group about adoption and we counted 20 children who have now been adopted all with a connection to our adoption story. You never know how God will use your faithfulness to profoundly inspire others. It is very humbling.
I was inspired to write this blog today because I was watching an interview last night conducted by Bill Hybles, who is a well know pastor and author, and Bono, yes Bono the rockstar. I was moved to hear Bono speak about the Aids epidemic of our lifetime and how he knew he was not Mother Theresa and could not save the entire world, yet he could do the best with what he has been given. He knew he had fame and money and could give a voice to those afflicted by this terrible disease. He said we can’t fix everything but the things we can fix, we have to. I thought again about the principle of just doing what we can and inspiring others to do the same. God does the rest. It will amaze you to see who God has placed in your life and how by working together you can make a difference. It is awesome to see how God orchestrates the crossing of paths in our lives.
My encouragement to you today is to decide what the ” starfish” in your life are, then do something about it. I encourage you to read the book ” She Did What She Could”. You really can make a difference – You really can !