Ripple effect

Gabriel House 608

A couple days ago, one of my roommates saw this picture and asked me about it… it was taken almost 5 years ago…

I don’t know if I will ever get the chance to go back to Gabriel House, but this picture alongside a few others of kids there hang over my desk  as reminders of where I’ve been and where I am heading.

These children will never know how deeply they have impacted my life—

how many essays I have written about our time together, how many scholarships they have helped me get or how many families and friends I have shared their stories with. They won’t know how many conversations, decisions, and projects they have influenced because of the lens through which they gave me to see the world.

They taught me to put God first… faith love and hope in Him. They taught me unconditional love and unmerited grace and how to ask, receive, and enjoy. They taught me the beauty of brokenness and the tension of holding emotions like excitement and sadness and hope and disappointment all together in the same open hand. They taught me the value and power of  relationships and occupations. They set the trajectory for my education, career, and future.

I once wrote about how they were world changers as they loved so many foreigners who came to visit and then return home all around the world. The older I get and the more I reflect, the more aware I am of the impact a few kids with special needs in Mexico have had and will continue to have… in Texas, Arkansas, North Carolina, China, and soon Malawi. And that’s just through me.

At the same time I wonder about the stories that have set the trajectory for friends and acquaintances–

the lives that are unknowingly changing mine like a ripple effect caused by a stone dropped in the water far away.

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