Do you know the Starfish Story?
A girl was walking along a beach, and ahead of her were thousands of starfish, washed up along the beach with the tide, slowly dying in the air.
She began to walk along the beach, picking up starfish, one by one, and throwing them back into the ocean.
An adult came along and said to her, “Why are you doing that? Don’t you see how many there are? What you are doing can’t possibly make a difference.”
The girl picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean. “It mattered to THAT one!” she said.
1. The Starfish story, orally told. “It mattered to THAT one!” Sometimes you see a story so often it loses its teeth, but when someone speaks it out loud into the electric waiting of a roomful of people, it lives again with a whole new brightness. Oral storytelling is not a lost art.
2. The whole hymn, but particularly this verse from Fred Kaan’s “For the Healing of the Nations” text:
Lead us forward into freedom,
from despair your world release,
that, redeemed from war and hatred,
all may come and go in peace.
Show us how through care and goodness
fear will die and hope increase.
3. This hymn, too, set to “Finlandia”
4. Reminders of why I stay an Anabaptist: the hymns, MCC, the emphasis on being the hands and feet of Christ, active peace building, the contemporary work to transform the historic work of peacebuilding into a living philosophy that deeply understands reconciliation as well, listening to the words of Jesus.
5. Holding the specific within the universal. How the specific grounds the universal. How the universal keeps the specific relevant.
May we walk in Beauty!