The Importance of One

Recently I read the story below of the starfish.  It made an impact on me!

"Once a man was walking along a beach.  The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day.  Off in the distance he could see a person going back and forth between the surf's edge and the beach.  Back and forth this person went.  As the man approached he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide.

The man was struck by the apparent futility of the task.  There were far too many starfish.  Many of them were sure to perish.  As he approached, the person continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them into the surf.

As he came up to the person, he said, 'You must be crazy.  There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish.  You can't possibly make a difference.'  The person looked at the man.  He then stooped down and picked up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean.  He turned back to the man and said, 'It sure made a difference to that one.' "

I remind myself that this is the approach and attitude I must continually keep in my heart.  The needs are so overwhelming here in Africa.......impossible to meet them all, but I can daily look to make a difference in one person's life.  I think this is true for all of us whether we live in Africa, Asia, America, or anywhere.

Last year I noticed a man living in an empty lot on a busy corner by a traffic light.  He lived under a tree with some pieces of cardboard, a wooden box, and several dogs.  People would sometimes stop and give him money or food.  I often looked at the man, thought about him, wondered about him, prayed for him.......but I never stopped.  One day I noticed he was gone - and then I found out he had died.  I felt so convicted!  I had never once stopped to talk to him about Jesus, and now he had passed into eternity.  I don't know if I'd talked to him if it would have made any difference.......but it could have.  One person......a few could have been like the starfish.

It's made me more sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit to say something, do something when I feel that tugging on my heart.  I can't make a difference for the hundreds, but I may be able to make a difference for the one.

"Rejoice with me for I have found my (one!) sheep which was lost."   Luke 15:6