“You want to find one like this,” my dad said as he reached down and picked up a smooth stone. He glanced out at the still waters of the lake before he flicked his wrist and sent the stone gliding across the top of the glassy surface. The stone sent a series of ripples dancing across the water with each tap before it disappeared. He made it look easy. He was without a doubt the best stone skipper I’ve ever met.

This week the imagery of the many ripples made by a single stone resonated with me. I’ve been pondering the concept of “impact” and an example landed right in my path. You see, for as long as I can remember every Sunday at the cross walk next to my church, a man named Steve smiled and greeted people arriving. Though I never personally got to know him, his warmth truly conveyed. At the end of each service, while he helped people safely cross to their cars, he never missed a chance to send them off with a friendly “Have a great week.” Each Sunday with a servant’s heart, he set in motion ripples of kindness. I’m sure he didn’t get to fully see the impact his joy had the lives he touched. Yet with faithfulness, he continued week after week.

It took me back to skimming stones with my dad. I never could have imagined casting a stone and not watching to see how many ripples it made before coming to a rest. But in life, sometimes making a difference calls for us to do just that. We do what is kind or compassionate creating ripples. We’re not called to stand and see how big the splash or how far the ripples travel. Instead we’re called to be faithful and to continue to touch lives and make a difference.

Steve’s funeral was last Saturday. Although he’s no longer standing at the crosswalk, his smile, his kindness, and his difference continue to make ripples.

In memory of my dad and Steve, I thought I’d share a few ways that you can make more ripples in your world:

  1. Smile. The world needs more sunshine. Smile and be kind to the people who cross your path. You never know, your smile might be the only encouragement they notice today.
  2. Enjoy more fruit. No, not in your diet, but in your life. Galatians 5:22-23 says “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Are these evident in your daily life? If not, make adjustments and get more fruit in your day.
  3. Share your fruit. If you want to multiply your fruit, share it with others. Find ways to share kindness, gentleness, and joy with those around you. You will bless them and it might just make your heart happier too.
  4. Make a difference, even if you don’t see all the ripples. Never miss a chance to do good when given the opportunity. You may not see all of the impact you make, but make it. Steve couldn’t have known how sincerely he touched the lives of our community. His impact lives on even though he isn’t here to see it.
  5. Don’t worry about the size of the ripples. Make the difference you are called to make, no matter how big the ripples may be. For example, if you feel called to blog, then blog. Write it. Don’t’ worry how many people will read it, just write it. Even if you only impact one life, it is worth it!

Now go make a splash! Smile. Say ‘have a nice day.’ Encourage someone whose path you cross. And never stop making a difference, even if you don’t personally get to see the impact.