Friday, January 1, 2010

A Powerful Parable About Helping The Poor

I've been reading a book called The Hole In Our Gospel by Richard Stearns, and I came across a very powerful parable about helping the poor. I thought I would share it since it had an impact on me. Here is the parable:

One early morning, after a fierce storm had hit the coast, I strolled to the beach for my morning walk. Horrified, I saw that tens of thousands of starfish had been washed up on the beach by the winds and waves. I was saddened by the realization that all of them would die, stranded on the shore, away from the life-giving water. Despairing that there was nothing I could do, I sat down on the sand and put my head in my hands.

But then I heard a sound, and I lifted my eyes. There, in the distance, I saw a man bending down and then standing up, bending down and standing up. Curious, I rose and walked toward him. I saw that he was picking up the starfish, one at a time, and throwing them back into the sea.

"What are you doing?" I yelled.

"Saving the starfish," he replied.

"But don't you see, man, that there are tens of thousands of them?" I asked, incredulous. "Nothing you can do will make a difference."

He did not answer me but instead bent down, picked up another starfish, and cast it back into the water. Then he smiled, looked me in the eye, and said, "It made a difference to that one!"

(The Hole In Our Gospel, Richard Stearns, p. 162)

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