Starfish Story

Monday, March 19, 2012

Have you heard this one? Pastor John told it yesterday.


There once was a beach where thousands of starfish washed ashore. There were starfish for as far as you could see, and at the end of the beach was a man. The man was picking up starfish, and tossing them back into the sea, one by one. Someone observed this and walked over to him, "Why are you throwing them back? There are so many. Why bother?"

He answered, "Because it makes a difference to this one."

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That story was told in relation to a group's recent trip to Honduras. They were trying to process all they had seen. They were trying to come to grips with what they could do, and what they could not do.

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As the story was told, one listener changed the context.

"I feel like I'm the starfish in that story, not the thrower. What if we aren't the throwers? What if Jesus is the the man walking, and He is tossing us into the vastness of God's love?"

The vastness of God's love . . . even a shore full of need pales in comparison.

Something to think about.

How do you see yourself in that story?

Linking with, today:

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14 Comments »

14 Responses to “Starfish Story”

  1. I LOVE that story. And what a great twist on the meaning. Thanks for this one, Courtney!! As for where I stand, I probably spend time in each of the roles. I work hard to avoid being the observer - the "Why bother?" person. 

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  2. Awesome thought on this story! I like to think of it both ways - Jesus being the man as well as me. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Oh gosh! What an excellent perspective! I've never thought about the story that way. I love how Jesus is a personal God, who cares about the individual. Willing to leave the 99 to go after the 1, because it matters to the 1. What an excellent post!

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  4. That story has always left me conflicted a bit -- but I LOVE the change in perspective. If I'm the starfish, then it's all Jesus doing the rescuing, it's him coming to save, and to be thrown into the vastness of God's love? Beautiful image. I needed to be reminded that I am currently swimming in that vastness, even this morning, even when I don't remember.

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  5. I really loved this story - hope you don't mind a random visitor :) this blog is very inspirational!

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  6. Hey there! Visiting from Solo Dei Gloria today. I've always appreciated this story, and I especially like the new perspective. Amazing how we can glean something new from a familiar tale, isn't it? Enjoyed reading today!

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  7. Me too, Brandee. I have to work at avoiding the "why bother?" mentality - it is easy to slip into even when I think I'm doing the opposite.

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  8. Me too, Angi - you put it just right: Jesus is a personal God. 

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  9. Hi, Kim. Thanks for stopping by. I'm so glad you love the change in perspective - that is what really grabbed me, too. We are always in his vastness, "even when we don't remember," as you said. So true.

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  10. Thanks, Sarah. So glad you stopped by. It is wonderful to get something new, isn't it? 

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  11. Wow love this twist on the story. I have always loved that analogy and now am really loving yours. 

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  12. I'm not sure where I see myself.  But I know either way, God's hand is there on my life.

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