“Don’t give up; don’t ever give up.” When those seven words were spoken by Jim Valvano in 1993, a foundation was launched with the purpose of finding a cure for cancer. (Watch it here: Jim Valvano’s Don’t Ever Give Up Speech) Although a cure has yet to be found, since the V Foundation for Cancer Research was created over 120 million dollars has been raised. And while I don’t know everything about how financial stuff works, I do know that the V Foundation is now an organization that gives every dollar donated to cancer research. One guy. One speech. But what an impact.
There is a story in John 6. There was a large crowd of people following Jesus out in the middle of nowhere. It seems they all got hungry at the same time. Jesus asked one of his disciples, Philip, where they could get food for all those people. Philip answered very honestly: “Six months wages would not be enough money to feed all these people.” But another disciple, Andrew, brought a young boy and his picnic lunch: five loaves of bread and two fish.
I am trying to decide what impresses me more: the boy’s willingness to share when he obviously did not have enough or the fact that his parents let him do it. Let me explain. If I put myself in the shoes of the boy, I have to ask myself if I would have had enough faith, courage, moxie, whatever to speak up and say, “Here, take what I have.” It obviously wasn’t enough. A total of seven pieces of food could not feed close to 10,000 people. (Yes, you know the story as the feeding of the 5000, but remember that was only a count of the men.) That did not stop the young child from doing something.
But what about the parents? If I was in their place, would I have allowed my son or daughter to speak up and say something? Or would I have shushed them and pointed out that they did not have enough food to feed the entire crowd? Because let’s face it, we as humans are experts when it comes to what we don’t have enough of; or when it comes to what we cannot do. While we don’t know the whole story of how the child was taken to Andrew and ultimately to Jesus, there had to be willingness on somebody’s part. So this child shows up with fives loaves of bread and two fish. And somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 people eat. One child. One picnic lunch. But what an impact.
A couple years ago, a young boy at the Highland Church of Christ got sick. Liam Lowe was only six when he began his brave battle against leukemia. Through the struggle, Liam and his dad decided they would commit to doing three things every day: learn something, make something, and love someone. Liam decided that one way he could love someone would be to help people in Africa get water. He had read a National Geographic article about the struggle many nations have to get clean drinking water. So Liam’s family began a fund-raising project to build wells. Then they began a second one. To date, the two well projects have raised $47,000 and built 5 wells. You can read about Liam’s second well project here.
Liam Lowe passed away almost seven months ago. He was an inspiration to the Highland church community. The children’s ministry got involved and did their own fundraisers. The elders and ministry staff developed a vision to guide the congregation for the next ten years (follow the Restoration Movement link on this blog’s homepage) and allowed what Liam has done to guide that vision. And now five communities have access to water that did not have it before. One child. One desire to love. But what an impact.
How many times have I not done something because I knew I could not make any real change? How many times have I been overwhelmed by the circumstance that I was frozen and refused to act? How many times? Maybe, just maybe, one act of kindness, one act of courage, one act of love can make an impact that will last beyond what I can see. What will that act be? One person. One act. But what an impact.