As a ship cuts though the sea, it carves the water at its prow and leaves a wake behind it. Our lives are often like that.
What we do, who we are and how we engage the world is the prow of our lives as we carve a wake through time and space. They are the constants that warp spacetime in our continuum. In our lives we may be aware of the splash as some “event stone” in our lives hits the still water of the pond, but we are rarely aware of the impact of the ripples as the effect grows outwards.
When my father died, one of my cousins came from interstate. Our interests and sense of humour have always been those of brothers, not cousins. On that hard day of the funeral he shared a story he’d never mentioned until then. It brightened my day.
As children we’d spent Christmases with all his side of the family at our place. One Christmas, I organised a mega-treasure hunt that ranged over the whole house and gardens, with clues and riddles to solve. Unknown to me, Ian had enjoyed it so much that he promised himself that, if he had kids, that he’d organise treasure hunts like that every year.
He and his wife have several children. The kids love their family tradition of a treasure hunt so much that the 23-year-old is still reluctant about not taking part. It has been a source of joy and celebration all these years, and I didn’t know. Until that sad day was brightened.
What we say and what we do has the power to echo through time. The stone we unwittingly throw into the pond has ripples
we do not notice, but they exist. And they have an impact.
God doesn’t always send angels. She puts the thoughts, and sometimes the challenges, we need in the hearts of family, friends and even total strangers for us to hear. And sometimes it is for us to voice a purpose, a hope, a sincere wish, that lights a candle of hope for someone else.
And it doesn’t matter if we never know the difference we have made, as long as we commit our lives to making a difference.