I don´t watch much television, but when a friend lent me the DVD episodes of "Joan of Arcadia" a few years ago, I found myself exploring the various philosophical and religious themes of the show with my teenage nephew who was at my house for a visit. One of my favorite lines is an exclamation of joy from Joan in "Jump," a thought-provoking episode about suicide: "The ripples were good!" I often think about how my actions, even the ones that seem unimportant in relation to the need which are so great, can ripple on to touch people and change faraway situations with results that I may never know about.
This week, the ripples came back to me in the form of photographs. In September, Mexico suffered two devastating earthquakes. In October, I facilitated a Roots in the Ruins: Hope in Trauma course with seven church leaders from Juchitán, Oaxaca, an area severely affected by the earthquakes. In November, those leaders helped teach the "Doors of Hope" training workshop for Sunday school teachers. And this week, the first group of Sunday School teachers sent me photos of their emotional first aid, trauma awareness, dignity and resilience building classes with the children, youth and adults of the Emanuel Church of the Nazarene in Juchitán, Oaxaca. The ripples have been good!