What can one do?

At church this morning, Pastor Steve was talking about a video he had seen showing survivors from the earthquake in Haiti marching & singing praises in the streets near where they are all sleeping.  I found the video and provided a link to it here if you would like to watch.  I found it amazing that these people who have survived a tremendous disaster and have lost friends & family as well as most likely almost everything they owned, were lifting me up and touching me as I watched the video.  These people know have a faith that far exceeds my own.  Given all they have gone through, they decided the most important thing they could do was praise God…not that is something.  (I will warn you that the video is 9+ minutes long and the first 4 min or so are a series of reports about an 11-year-old girl trapped in rubble and it is heartbreaking to watch.  My daughter is 12 and I cannot imagine the anguish felt by the survivors of this disaster.

After sharing this with us, Pastor Steve then let us know we were taking an offering to send in support of the relief efforts.  As usual, he stressed that any amount is welcome and will make a difference.  He even told the children to go home and look under the cushions on the sofa for change.  While it might not be a lot, it will be more than they have.  Pastor Steve jogged a memory of something I had read recently and thought it would be appropriate to share here.

The forest was quiet – too quiet.  From out of nowhere came the clatter of horses’ hooves, and then silence again.  A few moments later a flame sprang from the dry leaves.

“Fire!” roared the bear.  “Run for your lives,” cried the crow.  The forest animals, great and small, all fled in panic toward the river.  But one small bird remained on the far bank watching the forest burn.  “What can we do?” he cried out.  There was no answer.  “But this is our home,” he cried again, “We must do something – it’s on fire!”  Silence was the only answer.

At last, he swooped down from his perch, scooped up a bill-full of water and flew over to dump it on the fire.  Time after time he flew from the river to the fire until his weary wings were singed and covered with ash.  High above, the gods looked down at the chaos below, and they laughed.

“What in the world is that little bird doing?” asked one god.  “He is trying to put out that fire with a bill-full of water! But why? I will find out.”  And the god went down to Earth to ask the bird.

Later, when the god returned to the skies, he was surrounded by the other gods.  “Well? What is he going?” they all asked at once.  The god replied softly, “He told me, ‘I am but one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something.'”

Tears welled up in the gods’ eyes and fell as gentle rain on the flames below, quenching the fire.


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Filed under Real Life, The Human Condition

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