Our actions are like drops of water that cause ripples in a pond. Every drop produces a ripple. Every drop. And the ripples spread in little waves across the shining water. Across the universe. No matter how small the drop.

Our actions every day have an impact on the world. Sometimes the smallest thing can lead to life-changing consequences

Today as I sat in my garden, I found myself thanking God for my many blessings: My family, and house, my work, and the cool morning air. And as I rocked in my favorite old rocker on the patio, I remembered Melissa. She was the one who found this chair for my daughter and my unborn granddaughter so many years ago.

Melissa helped our family at a critical time. She was gentle, kind and loving and expected nothing in return. She died too soon a few years ago. But her brief impact of guiding us through a crisis pregnancy changed our lives forever. This old used rocking chair is faded and has had the seat replaced twice. I had even forgotten until this morning that Melissa had been the person who gave it to us. Melissa. A person who’s kindness, love and influence rippled through our lives, and now,  live on in my grandchild.

In the movie Gladiator, Maximus tells his soldiers, “What we do in life echoes in eternity.”

It’s amazing how sometimes the simplest word of advice can change the course of events.

I think of Oretha Hall. She was a very elderly guidance counselor at my high school who encouraged me to apply for a scholarship in theater because she thought I had talent.  She stopped me in the hall one day and suggested it. A momentary bit of encouragement. I got that scholarship. Theater became my passion and later film. 50 years later my life still reflects the suggestion made by Oretha Hall.

Melissa and Oretha are both gone from this earth. But their actions and words live on. Their actions echo in eternity.  Their words and actions produced ripples through my life.

Every drop of water makes a ripple.

I know there are days when I wonder if what I am doing makes any difference at all in the wider scheme of life. But remembering Melissa and Oretha encourages me.  I think we sometimes believe that only huge accomplishments really matter.  It’s easy to think that in a world that idolizes supermodels, movie stars and sports figures. But every drop of water makes a ripple. Every drop. That ripple affects other ripples. Even those movie stars and basketball players had mothers, teachers, guidance counselors. Those supermodels had friends that liked them when they were skinny and awkward as kids.

I still have BIG dreams for what I want to accomplish, what I want for my family and what I want for the future.  Isn’t it interesting that my big dreams got a start from a chance meeting with Oretha Hall.  Just like a drop of water, a word of encouragement, an act of loving kindness or a moment of guidance can be the beginning of the ripple that changes the world.