What happens when you throw a stone into a body of water? What do you notice? Do you notice an outward ripple on the surface of the water? How far do you think these ripples extend? What do you think the depth of these ripples might be? At what point do you think they lose their effect?
If you’re like me you’re thinking, it depends. It depends on the size of the stone and the speed it’s going when it connects with the water.
Recently, a dear friend of mine lost his fight with complications from COVID-19. Since then, I’ve been contemplating the impact and influence our lives have on those we interact with. I’ve especially considered the reach our singular moments of connection might have. Those times when:
You stop and speak with the person others ignore
You approach a stranger to pray with or for them
You buy a meal for the stranger who has no money
You fill someone’s gas tank
You answer a friend’s phone call during the wee hours of the morning because you sense the urgency.
Ripple Effect is defined as the continuing and spreading results of an event or action.
What happens in the lives of those we encounter in these ways? I’ve learned from my friend’s life that these encounters have a positive and irrevocable impact on the lives of those we interact with, even when we think the encounter was insignificant.
The ‘Celebration of Life’ service honoring my friend was live-streamed on social media. Over a thousand people watched and commented about the impact he had on their life or the life of someone they knew. Many referenced brief or singular moments with him that changed their outlook on life, and for some, his interactions with them changed the direction of their lives. The rippling effect (voluminous waves) of my friend’s life continues.
And what of my life? Your life? I say, let’s be stones flung into the water causing ripples that go far, deep, and wide. And while we’re at it, let’s be brave and purposeful - like my friend, and make a few waves too.
Luke 24:2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb
This stone that was rolled away from the tomb was the stone used to secure the entrance to the tomb where the body of Christ lay after he was crucified. It sealed the tomb from those who might want to come in the night and remove Christ’s body. Not only was the stone rolled away, but the body of Christ was no longer there. Before his death, Christ told his followers that he would be raised to life again. But many didn’t understand, until…the stone was rolled away.
And there have been conversations, discussions, and inquiries ever since.
Has there been anything in history to cause more of a ripple effect than this?