From the Archives – The Ripple Effect

January 22, 2015


Our deeds are like a stone cast into the pool of time. Though they themselves disappear, their ripples extend to eternity.
Author Unknown


Have you ever thrown a pebble into a still body of water and watched the ripples? You will see a splash and hear a sound produced by the touch of the stone to the water. You will also notice concentric circles rippling out from the center point of where the pebble hit the water. The plunk might have frightened fish or a duck swimming nearby. The tossed pebble impacts many things. This is known as the ripple effect.


Our words, thoughts, and actions ripple outward as well. Let me share this story with you.


After twenty-five years of marriage, my husband told me he was gay. We separated with great sadness. About a year later I was challenged with the task of telling our fifteen year old son. While still in the throes of shock, he was to spend the weekend with his dad and refused to do so. Rather than have to tell his dad why he didn’t want to visit, he went. When he came home I asked how the visit had gone. He replied, “Dad has always been kind and loving and he’s still kind and loving.” Elizabeth Birmingham (DJ Cookman’s sister)


This story began long ago when a young boy, my brother-in-law, heard negative messages that he must conform, he must change who he was to be accepted and loved. Years later, another little boy, my nephew, heard and received positive messages of kindness and love from his father. Today, both father and son, send out ripples of acceptance, kindness, and love.


As a community of faith, what kind of ripples do we want to send out? Do we want to be messengers of negativity and blame, judge, and compare one another or do we want to be a catalyst for positive change and accept, affirm, and celebrate one another?


DJ Cookman for Reconciling Ministries
Westchester UMC Messenger
April 2013

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