Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My heart is heavy with the tragic loss of life from the tornadoes in Moore yesterday. As I think about it and try to go on with my daily tasks, my eyes are filled with tears. In light of such heartache, I am choosing today to find ways to show God's kindness to others.  My prayer is for God to have mercy on those who are mourning the loss of life and property. Days like these make me long for heaven. 

As I was getting ready for work and looking for a necklace this morning, I stumbled across this box:

And inside, is one of my most precious possessions, a tiny starfish. You know that cheesy poem, where a man is walking along the beach and sees another man picking up a starfish out of the multitude of starfish, and throwing it back in the water? And then the man bends down, picks up another, and throws it to safety? The first man asks why he is doing it. There are so many starfish, what difference could he possibly make? "It made a difference to that one," was the second man's reply. That is my life's goal. My purpose. 

I spent two weeks in Mexico every summer during high school. Tijuana, the "armpit of the western hemisphere." One summer, as we were building houses and de-liceing kids in a local dump, I met a woman named Maria. Maria's husband had recently died from AIDS and she was trying to raise her four kids, the youngest, Elisabeth, was probably 6 months old. At the end of my time there, Maria asked me if I would take Elisabeth home with me and adopt her. I was 16 years old. As much as I wanted to, I couldn't take Elisabeth with me. That night, the leaders gave each one of us a tiny starfish and reminded us that we can do something every day to help someone else. I did what I could for Maria and Elisabeth while I was in Mexico and I still think about them and wonder what became of them. But the starfish image stuck with me. 

Sometimes I wonder why God has me in this job right now. And then I think of two little girls whose mommy "took too much medicine" and died. I hug those girls extra tight when I see them and I think of the starfish. God has be here to give mommy hugs when someone doesn't have a mommy who can hug them right now. God has me here to be a lap to sit on, to be someone to give a high five after a stunning performance of "I Dropped My Dolly in the Dirt" during a talent show. I get to be the hands and feet and arms and tears of Jesus. Not all the time. Sometimes I am the Xerox-copy-making hands of Jesus. Or the volunteer-calling voice of Jesus. Or the ordering-VBS-supplies hands of Jesus. It gets mundane. It gets frustrating. But today I remember the starfish. 

Since we are not there yet, I want to bring heaven to earth, even though my impact may be small. Will you join me?

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