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Tadpoles and Talents
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My back sizzled as I squeezed through tangled branches. Shade brought a miniscule sense of relief. "There!" my ten year old big brother pointed. In the middle of the clearing were zillions of shallow puddles, filled with tadpoles. I thought that we were just going to pour our buckets to refresh the little things. But construction crews were plowing the lot next door. Our neighborhood was growing and our fort would soon be leveled. Immediately, our rescue effort began.

Twenty containers later, we had outlined our driveway. Racing in to share our success with our mother, we were greeted with, "You what?"

As an eight year old out to save the world, or at least the tadpoles, my shoulders fell. Our plan was to raise the bucketsful of critters until they became full grown. We hadn't thought about how to keep their water fresh or cool. We didn't have the slightest idea about how to feed them. The buckets were packed, leaving very little room to wiggle.

After our initial disappointment wore off, Mom drove us to a nearby creek. Thousands of tiny little waves moved away from us as we emptied our containers.
Mom could have dismissed our unrealistic plan. She could have told us to return the tadpoles to their puddles, leaving them to die. But, instead, she listened to our cry for mercy. She helped us complete our mission. It took all three of us to give the little swimmers what they needed.

Flashbacks of this steamy summer day came to mind as the news showed thousands of people stumbling and weeping through the ruins of Haiti's capitol. It's going to take a lot of buckets and a lot more people to help give our neighbors what they need. I can allow the images and news to paralyze me. But, that won't help one bit. Or, I can offer my prayers and resources. I can pitch in to help, no matter how small a dent. God can use my offering, along with everyone else's to shower the Haitians with relief and hope.

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms" (1 Peter 4 :10 NIV).