I have become a grandmother. Seldom, perhaps never again, will I make Nick’s mug shot the focus of my blog, but this new chapter of my life opens for the first time only once, and so I trust you will indulge me. I covet your prayers for him and for his parents as they raise him to follow the Lord and to trust Him in all things.
Furthermore, Nick’s arrival, with a bit of stretching, fits today’s topic. I’d like to talk about the ripple effect. My new friend, Jack Kern wrote (in One Human Family © 2011, p. 127) “As an adult, I am still enraptured by the ripple effect in life. Actions, be they good, bad, or neutral, set into motion a whole series of events. The events are often unpredictable, but you know that they will come in some fashion…Much of life seems to focus on the point of impact, oblivious to the impending ripples which follow.
Nicholas was born. Point of impact. But oh the ripples to come! He will, like all of us, change the world in many small ways, and quite possibly in a few big ways as well. So will his parents, who are different now because they have added the role of “mom and dad” to their roster of responsibilities. This momentous week of birth seems like the “big moment,” and yet the biggest moment of Nick’s life, or that of any one of us, may be a gentle word spoken to someone in need, a letter written at just the right time, or a decision to stand against injustice when no one else is willing to do so.
Sometimes the ripples we create are surprisingly sad. We cut someone off on the road, they see our “WWJD” sticker, and seeds of doubt or derision are planted. We employ sharp sarcasm when speaking to a child or neighbor who then finds approaching us more difficult. Or perhaps we simply fail to see the needs around us as we focus on ourselves. We don’t always think about the ripples.
We don’t always see the ripples we create, either. Would that we could, but since we can’t, our familiar remedy may be this daily prayer:
“Lord, thank you for this day. Please help me to hear your voice, to have the faith to know it’s you who speaks, and the courage and discipline to do as you say.” And when we aren’t so sure what he is saying, we can always fall back to these words:
“Love one another, as I have loved you.”
What ripples are you making? May they be loving ones today!