«As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good» (2 Thessalonians 3:13).
You may have read the well-known story of a man who went to the beach every day and bent down to pick up starfish from the sand and throw them back into the water.
When a stranger went up to him to ask why he did that, the man replied that, when the tide went down, many starfish were left on the sand and, without enough oxygen, they would die.
The stranger thought it didn’t make sense to do it He would never be able to return all the starfish to the sea. But the man knew that he was making a difference for that one star.
I met Monica on my first day of public school in the United States. I didn’t know any English and she noticed I was a bit lost in a huge building with signs I didn’t understand. She helped me find the classroom for my next subject and later led me to the school bus that would take me home again. She explained how the lunch schedule worked, what the usual class schedule was and how to ask some basic questions.
Just like me, hundreds of immigrant students came to school each year; students who didn’t understand a thing and had a hard time until they managed to understand something.
Monica could have thought she couldn’t help all of them, and that was true. But that day she helped me and it changed my distressing reality.
From that moment on, we became friends, shared our afternoons and the joy of reading and poetry deepened within me. To this day we have a friendship that has endured the passage of many years and distances. A short while ago I saw her again and thanked her for that small act of kindness which at the same time meant so much to me such a long time ago. I was able to give her The Desire of Ages, Steps to Christ and The Great Controversy, meet her daughters and notice that her kindness was intact.
Little did I imagine that her patience with my English and her passion for writing would be contagious and mark my current profession so deeply.
Your efforts may sometimes seem to you like that man’s efforts: you ‘re throwing a starfish back into the sea while another hundred starfish remain on the sand. Don’t worry. Do your job and God will reward you. You never know the impact your simple, but kind actions may have on others.