Starfish, Heroes, and the Little Way

September 25, 2021

"The 'Little Way' of St. Therese is a way of consecrating our most mundane and ordinary tasks to God, whether it is washing clothes or opening a door for another or saving a starfish"


One night a violent storm blew in from the sea and stranded thousands of starfish high on the beach that was below a certain coastal town. In the morning the people walked along the beach as was their custom, but they took no notice of the carpet of starfish and carelessly tread them into the sand.

But one young boy came along the beach, walking more carefully around the stranded starfish. Every now and then he bent down, picked up a starfish and tossed it back into the safety of the ocean. A man sat nearby and watched the boy for sometime. Finally the man decided the boy needed a lesson in common sense and walked up to him 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. Then he looked at he man and said, “It makes a difference to that one.”

What does it mean to belong to Christ? For St. Therese of Lisieux it meant that every task she was given was an opportunity to serve God, no matter how small or insignificant it seemed.

[caption id="attachment_346405" align="alignright" width="247"] public domain[/caption]

St. Therese felt that people lived too much in fear of God’s judgment and not enough in recognition of God’s love. She knew that God shows his love for us through mercy and forgiveness. She also knew she could not be perfect in serving the Lord. So she approached God as a child approaches a parent, with open arms and complete trust.The “Little Way” of St. Therese is a way of consecrating our most mundane and ordinary tasks to God, whether it is washing clothes or opening a door for another or saving a starfish on the beach. It means making small interior sacrifices that only God can see. It sounds simple, but requires a commitment to serving God by serving all the people we meet in our everyday lives with equal love.

Every action of ours, great and small, will be taken into account. If all we do is offer a cup of water, in Christ’s name, to one who thirsts, it will be remembered, and we will not lose our reward.

Let us live our lives confident of God’s love for us by showing our love for Him and our neighbor in everything we do. Each day is an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life if we choose to live as a people who belong to Christ.

Pax Vobiscum
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time


© Lawrence Klimecki

Saint George © Lawrence Klimecki

Purchase fine art prints by Deacon Lawrence here.

Deacon Lawrence draws on ancient Christian tradition to create new contemporary art that seeks to connect the physical and the spiritual.. For more information on original art, prints and commissions, Please visit 

Lawrence Klimecki, MSA, is a deacon in the Diocese of Sacramento. He is a public speaker, writer, and artist, reflecting on the intersection of art and faith


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