Home » Friday: Further Thought – Mission to the Needy    


Friday: Further Thought – Mission to the Needy — 7 Comments

  1. The enormity of the task of helping the needy sometimes overwhelms us. This story, originally told by Loren Eiseley in an essay, “The Star Thrower” in 1969 has been adapted by a several authors to provide us with a deep spiritual lesson.

    “Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

    One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

    As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

    He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

    The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

    "I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

    To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

    Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

    At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said,
    "It made a difference for that one.”

  2. I find that all 3 of these questions have to do with the messenger and not the message. Yes I do believe it is good to realize our own traditions and convictions as in question # 1 and 3. Question #2 has to do with what others think about us - both Jesus and John the Baptist were ridiculed for 2 different approaches but the same message. The author only references Matthew 11:19 but the concept as I see it in context is about the message and receiving the message and not the messenger.

    I am a people pleaser who does not like change. Facts do not help me move past this…it is only an understanding of how the message has changed me and the realization of its power to all.

    Who would not share the cure with someone who was dying if they possessed it? Who would not feed those who are perishing in famine? Who would not bring an end to war and suffering if they only could?

    Possibly it is time to reexamine the message we have been given and the state we find ourselves in? We are in a dying world full of pain and there is only one message that saves.

    It is the appreciation of this message in my own life that allows the fire to burn in my heart and warm those around me. You cannot hide it under a bushel (Matt 5:15-16) as the message brings a change and conviction in our hearts that spreads infectiously to those who will accept Jesus for themselves.

    I am not sure that a pep talk about overcoming my comfort zones is what will change me (focus still on me)… I need my eyes continually opened to a saving message and to the fields that are white for the harvest (John 4:35-36). The immense needs of humanity bring me to pray that the “Lord of the harvest send out laborers into His harvest” (Matt 9:37-38).

    The Lord is pouring out His Spirit and giving dreams and reaching out to the world… He is saving the lost and preparing to return. Pray for the laborers and for Harvest!

    • I felt much like you reading the questions as well and I sort of wish they would use different approaches. "Trying harder" has never been the answer.

      I have a really tough time with change, likely both because of my personality and also due to the loss of a parent as a young child. So getting out of my comfort zone is not easy and questions like #1 make me feel somewhat discouraged.

      I guess for me I remember two things. Jesus was patient with His disciples. It took them a long time to understand His ministry and even longer to realize that it was meant to go to Gentiles too. But He didn't abandon them and He lead them steadily. Sometimes they had some setbacks (ie. Peter in Galatians 2) and some of His followers moved to reach out to others faster than others. But God still worked.

      Also, when I read the question I thought of it this way - what can get me out of my comfort zone? It's remembering that Jesus is working outside of that zone. And if I'm in a partnership with Him, I'm going to go where He's working. That is a more encouraging way to see it.

  3. God's design is so noble that while we feel and understand His love for us, we can share it, overflowing the family circle. Telling others about this extraordinary experience should be natural!

  4. My neighbour is anyone who needs my help. I pray that God will open our eyes and our hearts to the need around us and give us the courage to look beyond our four walls and impact a world dying in sin!!!

  5. We can separate the Truths contained in Jesus' Gospel message into many different parts but will find that they are all governed by one overarching heavenly aspect – that of God’s Love within us needing to be expressed willingly, readily, without prejudice for the benefit of all.

    God's Love for others in its purest form will become our state of being – always aware, always ready, always willing to express God’s Glory residing within us to the benefit of those we encounter along our walk of life by faith.

    The admonition to always remember that our life is in Christ Jesus, that goodness expressed by us is not our own, will help direct our path. All we are, all that our new nature endeavors to achieve, is bound up in and with the Image of Jesus Christ.

    Therefore, through the power of the Holy Spirit living in us, each individual reflects our Savior's image in a very personal way; all expressed in kindness toward our fellow man. Man is not inspired to live by faith by/through following a manmade strategy/plan.

    What is our highest priority in life? Do we exemplify that which our Lord and Savior highlighted to be the most important aspect in our relationship with Him and our heavenly Father – to love Them both with all our might to be empowered to love our fellow man?

    In the measure of intensity we love our heavenly Father and His Son, our Savior, we will be inspired to see in our fellow man only another child of God - just like we are. Matt.22:36-40; Hosea 6:6; 1John 3:1.

  6. I do look forward to see how the Lord will use me continued, to make a difference in the life of any Person or Persons as He will.
    Thank the Lord.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>