Starfish

"And each person is but a mite on the face of the mighty earth."

And doesn't it just feel like that so often?  Particularly now as we helplessly hear daily news of violent death, hatred and intolerance.  I don't really listen any longer.  I just expect it, and clearly I am impotent to change things.

I cannot stop the thoughtless ranting in the States.  I cannot heal the endless wounds of those who mourn lost relatives in France, Germany, Syria or so many other places. I am but a helpless mite.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to wield a mighty sword, and swoop down, like superman on the outrageous decimation we see,  to slice out the hateful virus that affects so many?

Yet we are so lucky.  We love, and are loved. We walk in peace and smile with affection on our neighbours. We welcome newcomers into our society. We worship openly and are sustained by our community of faith.

But perhaps our happy and secure community will not last.

When such dour thoughts invade my mind I like to return to the story of the starfish.

While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.

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.”

The old man smiled, and said, “Why?”

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 elderly observer commented, “But, young man, do you not realise that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly save them all”

The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.”

 

Submitted by Peter Bayley

 

Flower Pearson