Sometimes, when my father would go to the farm, a few of us kids would pile in the back of the truck and go with him to pick berries, swim, or whatever else tickled our fancy for a few hours in that wonderful Newfoundland summer air and sunshine.

Sometimes, if there was not much of a breeze and the water was smooth, we’d be drawn to skipping rocks. We all knew our best bet for excelling in this was to find the smoothest, flattest stones and angle the throw just right. Something about a rock skipping effortlessly with four or five landings, creating ripple after ripple in that smooth expanse, brought a joyful sense of accomplishment, of power.

In remembering this today, I got to thinking about ripples, and the power of making them.

Good ripples and bad ones.

The Bible tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. Part of that power is in the ripples one little word can create.

Photo by Vera Arsic on

Sometimes words slip out of our mouths because of frustration or disappointment, words we don’t really want to create harm. Left alone, those words may bring a world of devastation to a relationship. Hurt that years won’t be able to heal. Unlike the stone’s ripples which fade away, ripples made by unkind words can only be stopped by asking for forgiveness. Time doesn’t heal everything.

But good words! They are wonderful! They have life in them, for the speaker and hearer. Those ripples keep on and on, too. Upon every remembrance the beautiful waves they created in the first place start all over again.

A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it (Proverbs 15:23).