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Friday, March 25, 2011

Make A Difference

Do you remember the story about the guy on the beach,
reaching down to throw a starifsh into the ocean now and then?
A stranger passing by asked him what he was doing.
Many starfish had washed up on the beach and there was
no way this one man, tossing some of them back in,
could possibly save them all. The stranger told the man that because
there were so many to save, what he was doing didn't really make a difference.
"Made a difference to that one," the man said as he tossed one into the ocean.


I thought about this story today as I encountered a homeless person.
I recently had taken some pictures under the I-235 bridge in Des Moines
and commented on how we don't notice the homeless.
Today I noticed.
I made a small difference to one starfish.
I can't make a difference to all of them.
No one can save anyone else, a lesson
I learned from a wise friend.
I didn't save  him.
My effect one one man was small in the grand scheme of things.
I could do more.
We all could do more.
We could all do more to make a difference in someone's life.
It could be helping the lady next door with raking her leaves.
It could be offering to watch the children next door
so their mom can have a break.
It could be giving a sandwich to a homeless person.
It's reaching out and helping those around us and
letting others know we care.
Who amongst us doesn't need that?


 I asked D, as I'll call him, if I could take his picture.
I asked if I could post his photo on my blog.
His answer surprised me. He said yes, but said he had
to leave his sunglasses on.  He said he wears his sunglasses
because he need them to hide his eyes, to hide his shame.
I didn't ask him to remove them.
I assured him that no one reads my blog besides me
so no one else would see it anyway.
Despite that, I didn't feel it was fair to him to display his
photo on here as if he were the poster child for the homeless.
That would be taking advantage of him.
I certainly didn't want to do that.
Out of respect for D, I've used Photoshop to help
conceal his identity and I won't use his name.
It just seems like the right thing to do.
I hope I was able to make a small difference
to one of God's children.



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