By Sandy Laumeyer
Just a Thought 

Sending Out Ripples


February 7, 2018

After visiting with a friend awhile ago, I was thinking about our conversation. We had talked about many topics, one of them being ripples. I was reminded of high school age students in a Sunday School class I’d taught some years ago.

At the time, the students I was working with asked if they could write a church service. Since it happened to be the season of Lent, I felt it would be a great learning opportunity. So I set down some basic rules for them.

The night of the service, they brought out a large old galvanized wash tub. One by one they poured water into the tub. Then they handed out a small rock to each person attending the service. Once that was done, everyone was asked to come forward, one at a time, and drop the rock into the tub of water.

After everyone was seated, the students asked if they had noticed what happened when they dropped their rock into the water. One person commented that the rock had caused ripples of water to go outward from where the rock was dropped.

“Right,” said one of the students. “And then what happened?”

“The ripples sent out from my rock mixed with those of the next person,” replied a gentleman.

“You are correct,” answered another student. “And did you also notice that the ripples sent out from your rock hit the side of the tub and started back towards the start of their cause?”

As I watched the interaction of the students with the people in attendance, I saw one head after another slowly nod in agreement.

“So it is with what we say and do,” added a student. “We know sometimes right away, sometimes after a period of time, what effect our words and actions have on other people. But what about what happens in the lives of people we don’t know, that we’ll never know, because of us?”

“An action of ours or a comment can mean it helps another person, or, in some cases, can destroy someone. Our words and actions can equally unknowingly inspire a person or harm them. And it’s the same with us. We can be inspired or harmed by what we see or hear.”

“So the next time you see a positive action or hear positive comments or if it’s all the other way around, remember what you saw here this evening. We must not forget our actions and words have ripples that go out but also ripples that return to us.”

I was wondering what the audience had thought about the presentation the students gave when I heard “Wow!” uttered from a gentleman. That one word told me all I needed to know and I was filled with pride at what my students had accomplished. I was also in awe of their understanding and wisdom.


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