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GPC's Starfish Initiative: I Can't Really Make a Difference, Can I?


A friend and I were talking about the question, “Why does God allow this to happen?” We were talking about the number of hungry children in the world; why doesn’t God just feed them, send rain or something. I commented that Jesus left the church behind to care “for the least of these” but we are failing miserably. How can we possible expect people to hear the Gospel above the rumbling in their stomachs?

I’m not just talking about those starving waifs from third world countries we see on television or National Geographic, though they are a good example. I am also talking about the children right down the street or across town. I already hear some responses, “We aren’t large enough,” “The government has programs for that,” “Someone will feed them, don’t they have free lunches at school?”

Allow me to tell you a story that you have probably already heard. One beautiful summer morning I left my home on the beach front and walked down to the water’s edge. As I walked along the shoreline I noticed a man picking up shells or something and throwing them into the sea. I was somewhat amused by this. The man was walking slowly and I soon caught up to him and walked behind him. I soon noticed he was picking up start fish and throwing them into the sea.

I approached the man and asked what he was doing, “Sending starfish back to the sea so they can have a chance to live.” I looked along the shoreline and there were hundreds that had washed ashore, I turned to the man, “There are so many, surely you realize you can’t be making a serious difference.” He picked up a starfish, tossed it into the ocean and smiled “I made a difference to that one.”

The next morning I grabbed my thermos of coffee and began walking down the shoreline, picking up starfish and tossing them back into the sea. As I walked along a young boy came up to me, “Sir, what are you doing?”

Yes, it's an old story, but it illustrates the point that we all can make a difference—in our community, in our nation, in our world.

Want to get involved? Send an email to Jim Hamilton.