The Starfish Story


I’m sure most have already heard this story, but the lesson has been on my mind a lot lately. I first heard this story when I was in college & although I don’t remember how I stumbled upon it, I do remember that I placed it in various locations so that I could pull it out when I needed a reminder to ‘stay the course’.

In the wake of my grandma’s failing health problems, I’ve had a lot of people come up to me & tell me how much they love her & my family. One of the repeating comments from people is how much my grandma’s “cards” have meant to them. For as long as I can remember, she has mailed cards; birthday cards, Thanksgiving cards, cards to let you know that she’s thinking of you. She is a card-mailing freak! She always has done it & sadly its something that I  took for granted, never realizing how truly rare & special her “difference” was making in the lives of others. She sent cards to friends & relatives, even total strangers that she knew only through word of mouth. She lent out words of wisdom, gratitude, sometimes a simple “I haven’t forgotten about you” thought. She once told me that God has a purpose for everyone & everything…and her purpose was to send cards. 

There will be no more cards coming from my grandma, not for me or anybody else. It is something that I will miss. But I have so many that are saved. Special ones are in my bible, where they have been since received. I have some in my journal, in my popcorn bucket full of pictures, even some in my jewelry box. Through the words that she has written, she will always be with me. Words full of strength, encouragement, & love. Words are so powerful.

It continues to amaze me how awesome people are! How a simple hug, phone call…card…from someone can change the whole course of someone’s life. To spend a tiny moment of your day to let someone know they’re important & loved is one of the greatest things you can do for another.

Make it a priority that, everyday, you find your own “starfish” to help.

Card from 2010…I love the line, “God will work out. He doesn’t let us down”

gma's letter 2010


The Starfish Story

adapted from The Star Thrower

by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)


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.”



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Filed under Faith & God, Family, Memories, Quotes

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