The Starfish Parable….

One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.

Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, “I’m saving these starfish, Sir”.

The old man chuckled aloud, “Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?”

The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, “I made a difference to that one.”

When your life goes from this……

to this….

What do you do?

My mom-in-law recently suffered an unexpected stroke and our lives were turned upside down and inside out.

911 call….

emergency room….

transfer to a hospital 120 miles away…

suitcases hastily packed for an unknown time period….

Calendars cleared….homes left in the care of neighbors….and time seemed to stand still.

Each day that she progressed we breathed a little easier. We were grateful when after a week she could be transferred to our home town and begin her rehab journey in a long term care facility.

As we were waiting for her hospital discharge, a gentleman by the name of Jack, came into her room. He introduced himself as a fellow stroke survivor and asked permission to tell his story of recovery.

He had been a corporate- ladder -climber when he suffered his stroke. He shared how his life had changed not only physically and mentally but how his priorities had been rearranged.

Everything he had considered vital to his existence…..success, accolades, wealth, prestige….no longer mattered. In fact, he told us he now viewed it all as worthless.

Jack took a life altering circumstance that was totally out of his control and turned it into a story of focusing on other people, taking their hand, and guiding them around the obstacles he knew would be ahead in their healing.

He was living a simple lifestyle helping one person at a time as he moved quietly from one hospital room to another.

His kind words of encouragement still echo in my mind. He was one man….making a difference in the lives of people he would never see again.

Tiny drops….

Just as one seemingly insignificant tiny drop of water ripples across the smooth, glass-like surface of water, you and I also have the divine opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people we meet every day in our normal routines of life.

Every heartache and tragedy we have suffered can be supernaturally transformed in the hands of Jesus into a fragrant healing balm that we can apply to the wounded hearts we encounter.

All praise goes to God, Father of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. He is the Father of compassion, the God of all comfort. He consoles us as we endure the pain and hardship of life so that we may draw from His comfort and share it with others in their own struggles.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

As we ease into Advent….preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus ….waiting for the gift of His coming….

Isaiah 11: 1-2, 10 The Coming Messiah

I pray that you trade unnecessary, distracting busyness for quiet soul- waiting….

May you seek the Babe in the Manger who was born to deliver you from the destructive darkness of evil….

May you re-evaluate your priorities and choose the eternal over the temporal…

May you cherish the simple blessings of family and friends over the shallow materialism of a culture that values appearances over gratitude and contentment…

May you have the eyes of Jesus to see one person who needs your tender touch…….encouragement…

“The small Babe of Bethlehem, the dismissed Son of God, the stripped and beaten Messiah hanging exposed on the Tree……

He begs us to spend the attention of Advent on the little, the least, the lonely, the lost.

The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp