Forget the Whales, Save the Praying Mantises!

Cynical as I may feel at times, I’m still very much a “throw one starfish back in the ocean at a time to save as many as you can” type person. I get overwhelmed often when I look at the vastness of the hurt, abuse, brokenness, envy, greed, and lust that exists in this world. I hear stories and see people all around me who have been through so much, it’s almost a miracle that they’re still alive. Stories of transformation do powerful things on hard days, and I find myself treasuring special moments to sustain me through the days where I wonder if anything I do matters. Those days come far too often for me, but the funny this is that instead of giving up when I get to the place where I feel like what I’m doing doesn’t matter, I instead push forward and try harder to make a difference.

Making a difference to me doesn’t mean petitioning people on a college campus to Save the Whales or Save the Trees, but instead it means changing lives. Today it meant picking up and moving a praying mantis that was sitting in the path of my lawn mower, but typically, it’s not something where I have so much control or power over an outcome. I am grateful for the grace to live a life blessed by a Savior, but I’m just another broken body trying to make my way along in a world that often doesn’t know right from wrong. That said, I’m still learning what it means to love and care for people who are poor materially, spiritually, relationally; to teach English well and to be patient while doing so. To do what I do with love and to love what I am doing.

I think I just need to remember that what I’m doing does make a difference whether I see it or not. Life change isn’t tangible, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. I hope at there are people whose lives are better because of our interactions and I hope that my heart for each starfish, bug, and individual doesn’t change, no matter how much hurt I see.