My father likes to tell the story of a 2 men on the beach, where there were thousands upon thousands of washed up starfish on the sand. One man was throwing starfish back, one by one. The other man, seeing the multitude of starfish still on the beach, said “Why are you doing that? It doesn’t make any difference?” to which the man who was throwing the starfish replied, as he threw another back in the ocean, “It made a difference to that one.”
Here’s my latest starfish: Angelique.
Angelique is 18 years old with very bad heart failure from leaky valves, from rheumatic heart disease that she probably contracted as a child. She herself has a small baby and until last week, she was unable to walk across the room without getting short of breath, and she desperately needed a valve replacement. She was evaluated 2 weeks ago by Team Heart, an awesome group of nurses, echo techs, cardiologists, and cardiac surgeons from Boston, who come every year to operate on people like Angelique. I had the gut sense that this time next year, Angelique wouldn’t be around for a second chance; this was it, so I was really praying for her. The cardiology teams have a tough time choosing patients-there are so many sick heart patients. The patients have to be sick enough to need surgery but not too sick that they won’t survive the operation. There was initially some concern that Angelique had an underlying infection, but it cleared up and she was operated on and received not one, but two, artificial valves. I was thankful that God gave me the wisdom to have her come in a couple of days early to get “tuned up” before the cardiology team came. And I am very thankful for Team Heart!
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:4-5