20th August 2021

“Standing in a queue this a.m., got chatting to the man behind me, he said it was the only contact he’d have today. He smiled (behind his mask) and said with a laugh “It’ll soon be Christmas”. When you’re in a queue, talk to the person next to you. It could make a difference.”

This “Tweet” got me thinking about how easy it is to feel tiny and powerless in the face of recent news from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Haiti, Myanmar, Plymouth… I found myself thinking about the parable of the starfish, oft quoted by a most inspirational paediatrician and former colleague, the late Prof David Baum.

It’s the story of a boy who’s seen throwing starfish on the beach back into the sea to save them. He’s challenged about what difference he can make, since the beach is littered with so many starfish. He picks up a starfish and says that he can make a difference for that one.

Being part of a church (or a community with a shared interest for that matter) allows us to do together something that’s somehow more than the sum of our individual contributions. 

So, as well as trying to be alert to the needs of those directly around me, talking to the person in the queue and so on; I’ll see where I can join my voice with others – be it in prayer at Tyndale for Afghanistan or taking Christian Aid actions on Climate Change (link here). What else might we attempt in the days and weeks to come, individually and together with others?

Ruth Allen