I hadn't known this little girl long. In January, I started teaching writing at a local homeschool enrichment program, and this girl was one of my students. She was so smart, so creative and so much fun. She had a sweet spirit and a smile that you couldn't help smiling back at.
Her death was oh so unexpected. When the head of the enrichment program called to tell me, I was tongue-tied. I couldn't find anything to say. I struggled with why God would take a little girl who had so much life ahead of her.
As I looked around the room yesterday at the hundreds of people who had shown up for her celebration of life, though, I was struck by how many people this little girl's life had touched. Every person in that room had had their lives affected by this one 9-year-old girl with the big smile and bigger spirit.
And I was reminded that our lives are like ripples in a pond. When you throw a rock into a pond, it creates ripples and those ripples spread throughout the water. We make ripples, too. We touch lives we don't even know we are touching. Every action we make, every word we speak makes ripples.
Yesterday, we got to see the effect of the ripples of a 9-year-old's life. We got to see the lives that were touched. And we were reminded that every life matters. Every word spoken or not spoken makes a ripple. Every smile, every action makes another ripple.
I don't know why God allowed this little girl's life to end so soon. I'll probably struggle with that for a while, but I am oh so thankful that the ripples in her life touched mine.
And I'm reminded that the ripples that we make matter. And I want my ripples to change others for the better.