The Legend of the Starfish             

A vacationing businessman was walking along a beach when he saw a young boy. Along the shore were many starfish that had been washed up by the tide and were sure to die before the tide returned. The boy was walking slowly along the shore and occasionally reached down and tossed the beached starfish back into the ocean. The businessman, hoping to teach the boy a little lesson in common sense, walked up to the boy and said, "I have been watching what you are doing, son. You have a good heart, and I know you mean well, but do you realize how many beaches there are around here and how many starfish are dying on every beach every day. Surely such an industrious and kind hearted boy such as yourself could find something better to do with your time. Do you really think that what you are doing is going to make a difference?" The boy looked up at the man, and then he looked down at a starfish by his feet. He picked up the starfish, and as he gently tossed it back into the ocean, he said, "It makes a difference to that one."

William Ashburne


Leave Your Light On

 My blinking buddies are back for the summer again. For several years now I have had the pure delight of watching the fireflies gather in my backyard at night and share their light. I enjoy standing there watching them blink on and off as sun sets, the stars rise, and the air cools in the evening. What I love the most is seeing a lone firefly sharing its light only to be answered by first one and then another and another. Soon dozens are flashing their lights on and off in perfect unison. It is then when my whole backyard becomes a symphony of light and Earth feels a lot closer to Heaven. It is then when I joyously remember all the light we can share too.

 We all have one advantage over my blinking buddies, though. We can leave our lights on.  We can shine them in the darkest night and add light to the sunniest day. We can light up the hearts around us with our love and brighten every soul we meet with our happiness. We can shine our goodness, kindness, and oneness  with God so that everyone can see. And just like my firefly friends we can help others to get their lights shining as well.

 Don’t be afraid to shine your light. Don’t be afraid to leave it on even when the world around you seems dark. Shine it brightly. Shine it joyously. Shine it lovingly. Let it glow in oneness with God’s light as well. Before you know it you will no longer be a lone firefly in the darkness.  Before you know it others all around you will begin to shine their own lights as well. Before you know it you will be making this world a better, brighter, and more beautiful place.

 In this life you have two choices. You can sit in the darkness or you can help God to light up the universe. If a few dozen lightning bugs can make my backyard a Heavenly symphony of light then just imagine what God could do with you. Have a bright, shining, and glorious day then and always remember to leave your light on.

~ Joseph J. Mazzella ~


Small Steps of Love

How can we choose love when we have experienced so little of it?  We choose love by taking small steps of love every time there is an opportunity.  A smile, a handshake, a word of encouragement, a phone call, a card, an embrace, a kind greeting, a gesture of support, a moment of attention, a helping hand, a present, a financial contribution, a visit ...  all these are little steps toward love.

Each step is like a candle burning in the night.  It does not take the darkness away, but it guides us through the darkness.  When we look back after many small steps of love, we will discover that we have made a long and beautiful journey.

Henri J. M. Nouwen
Bread for the Journey