Sometimes we encounter heart-wrenching situations… babies abandoned by their parents, children who lost their mom or dad to HIV/AIDS, parents who are struggling greatly just to feed themselves and their families, and people feeling hopeless and a lack of value for themselves or others. We wonder how God who loves so lavishly is sovereign over a world of such pain. I don’t have the answer. I simply know this: when the followers of Christ act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly, the better life is for everyone. What if every Christian in the world reached out in love and deed to one lonely orphan, poor widow, hungry family, or sick person? We have witnessed some Christians here in Kenya who have reached out to many more than one, and that is making a big difference for those in need.
I recall a story told about a man who was walking on the beach one morning and noticed stranded starfish all along the shoreline. He began to pick them up and toss them back into the sea before they dried up and died. Another man saw him doing this and said, ” What are you doing? Can’t you see the whole beach is covered with them? What difference could you, one person, really make?” The man looked down at that one starfish, and as he tossed it into the sea, he remarked, “It made a difference to this one.”
Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed by the need. It’s so great. But what if that skeptic joined the man helping the starfish? What if we all joined together to “throw the starfish back into the water”? That would make an even greater impact.
I think when issues become people (as I keep thinking about), we act out of the love God has given us for them. And while that doesn’t change the whole world, it changes the world for that one person. I think that sometimes that’s all we can do, like what we’ve experienced here with each person we’ve met.