Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ripples of Life

My husband and I love to kayak.  One day we had set out early in the morning when it was still cool.  After a couple of hours, the sun was shining brightly and it was beginning to get quite warm. 

We had been exploring the coves and inlets a river and had come to a spot were the water was so still it was like glass.  In order to shift some cooler water into my boat, I gently rocked it from side to side.  The motion caused ripples to move away from my boat toward the shore.  Because of the stillness of the water, I was able to watch the ripples all the way to the shore.  As new ripples were approaching the shore, the old ripples bounced off and headed back to the boat.  I was fascinated watching how my slight movement had caused such an effect upon the water.

I thought about this earlier this week at work.  A young woman came into our Labor & Delivery unit.  As two other nurses started admitting her, I sat outside her room putting the physician's orders into the computer.  I heard the patient ask if Denise was working.

Denise had worked with us for a couple years and then had to stop as she fought an on-going battle with breast cancer.  The patient spoke for almost five minutes about the impact Denise had on her during her first labor. 

She told the nurses how she had been so fearful coming in to labor with her first baby and Denise had calmed those fears.  She told them how supportive and caring Denise had been to her family and their needs.  She told them of the great care she gave their baby once he was born.  Denise had made a tremendous impression -- her ripples had spread greatly -- upon this family and she never even knew it. 

I was able a few days later to share with story with Denise's husband, who also works at our hospital.  In this way, those ripples traveled to the shore and made their way back to Denise's boat.

We all cause ripples in our life.  Our choices, our actions, cause ripples which affect others and we may never know the full impact until we get to heaven.

Perhaps one day in heaven someone will come up to us and tell us how much it meant to them when they were in trouble and we were there to help them.  That person who was sick or bereaved and we took them a meal, that person who was broken down and we called for help or helped them ourselves may all come up to us to say "Thank you". 

Or perhaps it will be someone we never even knew who was lonely and hopeless.  Perhaps they will walk up to us and say, "I had no hope, I was alone and you were, too.  But you prayed and asked the Lord to bless someone who was in the same situation as you were, to meet their needs and encourage them."

"I was that person.  The prayer you prayed was what the Lord used to lift me up and give me hope to go on.  Thank you so much."

We all make ripples everyday.  May our choices be such that we are blessed as well when those ripples make it back to our boat.

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