This week marks my family's 14-day self-quarantine after returning from Kenya. I'm thankful for all of the people that graciously brought us groceries and checked in on us. Everyone in my family is healthy and, like I am sure with all of you, we are spending more time than ever before at home.
Over the weekend, I was looking for different ways to spend family time at home. Rather than spending time in our back yard, our family decided to spend time in our front yard. Having brought out the picnic blanket and guitars, we were well on our way to enjoy one of the many beautiful Spring afternoons Walla Walla rarely fails to deliver.
However, it did not take long before my four boys became bored. After just ten minutes, I decided that bringing out the sidewalk chalk was the best way to feed their hunger for something to do. Sunshine after sunshine was drawn on the sidewalk in front of our home and soon, messages of hope and love started appearing. Several people that lived in our neighborhood that were walking by began complimenting the boys and thanking them for the uplifting art.
Word must have quickly spread because it did not take long before more members in our community came out to look and see our “walkthrough gallery of art.” The overwhelming amount of support and appreciation for something as simple as sidewalk chalk art positively impacted the people in our community. It impacted their lives.
That night, as we were debriefing our day with our nightly game of Apples and Onions (positive and negative experiences from the day) my eldest said that one of his “apples” was seeing people smile as they came by.
It’s easy to overlook our reach and ability to make an impact around us. I think of it as a still, glassy-looking pond or body of water. When you throw a pebble in, ripples are immediately created and displaces everything around the point where the pebble made contact. It affected everything around it.
I'm proud to be here at Walla Walla University and feel fortunate to be able to spend time with all of you as we discover ways to spread Christ's love together in unique ways. Our pond has expanded from College Place, Washington, to all across North America. What a unique opportunity we have this quarter to create positive ripples around us, starting as simple as a smile.
E. David Lopez
P.S. In an attempt to start a ripple at the dinner table tonight here are some questions to explore.
- If you could be any age, what age would you want to be? Why?
- If you could fix or change one thing in the world, what would it be?
- Describe your family in five words.
- Is there something you disagreed with your parents about in the past that you agree with them about now? Or vice versa?