In 2019, I started doing live videos on Facebook. I completed three separate 14-day challenges to go live every day for two weeks. My consistency outside of the challenges wavered at times, but not ever to the point I stopped doing them. At some point in the year, I began moving those videos onto YouTube, in order to more easily share the content outside of Facebook.
On Saturday, August 3, I made a video titled “Make Good Ripples.” My son spent that day at a youth conference and learned about making an impact. I discovered he didn’t really understand the word so we talked about it. I compared impact to throwing a rock into a puddle or pond and watching it make ripples.
A few days later, on August 7, we started school and began a new routine. My video that night, entitled “Eat the Frog” was about doing things you don’t really want to do. While I was recording, I missed a call from my friend – a friend I actually mention in the video. Usually we message each other or text, so my initial thought was that she called unintentionally. Until she left a voicemail. As I listened to her short message, I knew it would never leave me. “The girls have been in an accident!” I don’t know how I stayed standing, I don’t know how I found the ability to stay calm return her call. What I know is that moment and the hours that followed changed our lives.
I began praying as soon as I played the voicemail. I kept vigil through the night, unable to sleep, waiting for news. In the span of three hours, my friend lost two of her three daughters. I dreaded telling my children the next morning. My son spent part of the time at the youth rally with them. My daughter adored them. I loved them, and could only love them more if they were my own. In the days that followed, I witnessed an outpouring of love for my friend and her family from all corners of the earth. Ella and Aranza touched many lives in their daily activities. They never met a stranger. They befriended the friendless, listened to the lonely, and included the outcast. No one had to sit alone at the lunch table if Ella or Aranza was present. As I shared information, I remembered my conversation with my son about ripples. At that moment, I said, “These girls didn’t make ripples. They made waves.” Thousands of lives were touched because of these young ladies!
Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far reaching effects.
I alone cannot change the world, but i can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.
Everything we know can change in an instant. While we are all free to choose, we are not free of consequences. Sometimes, in the case of my friend, we suffer the consequences of someone else’s poor choice. Our response in those times matters, oftentimes more than we understand.