Do you remember the age-old story about the starfish? As told to me as a child, a young girl was walking along the beach with her grandfather when they happened upon thousands of starfish left behind with the tide. When Grandpa picked up one to fling back into the waves, the girl did the same. One by one another they returned the creatures to the sea before the scorching summer sun killed them. After a while the child peered up and wailed, “This is hopeless! There’re only two of us and thousands of them. What difference can we make?”
The sage grandfather pulled another starfish from the sand, its glistening surface almost completely dry, and flung it as far as he could into the surf. “You’re right. We can’t save them all, but I’m sure we made a difference to that one.”
That story has stayed with me my entire life, the concept returning in various applications: I recycle my water bottle instead of adding to a receptacle overflowing with plastic. I attempt to purchase green cleaning supplies and recycled paper products despite the plethora on the shelves. Americans are continually challenged to do the right thing ecologically…or as Christians. In the modern world it’s tough to walk the narrow path with every thought, word, and deed. How about the Bible’s command to introduce the saving power of Christ to non-believers? With the world’s population only thirty-three percent Christian, how can a humble fiction writer from Ohio have any impact whatsoever? But perhaps like the starfish dying in the sand, it might make all the difference in the world to the few I do reach. Each journey must begin with a single step, whether we’re reducing waste, helping the sick, or introducing a reader to the positive influence of Christian fiction.
Mary Ellis has written twenty-one novels. Her debut book, A Widow’s Hope, was nominated for a 2010 Carol Award. Living in Harmony, won the 2012 Lime Award for Excellence in Amish Fiction while Love Comes to Paradise won the 2013 Lime Award. She is currently writing Secrets of the South Mysteries. Book one, Midnight on the Mississippi, was a finalist for the RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Award, and finalist for Daphne Du Maurier for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. Book two, What Happened on Beale Street, won the Judge a Book by its Cover for Inspirational Romance. Her current book is Sunset in Old Savannah. www.maryellis.net or www.facebook.com/Mary-Ellis/Author
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