The horrendous, tragic airplane crash with 350 souls aboard, made even more tragic by the presence of 167 grade school students who were on a service trip to help a town devastated by a tornado and of 7 sick infants with their mothers all on their way to a special hospital, never happened. Nor did the resulting suicide of a careless mechanic who was to blame. And that mechanic’s son did not grow up fatherless, and fall in with a corrupt crowd and turn to crime. Nor did the nearby community, shocked by the tragedy, gather up its moral strength and foster happier families, more full of love. And one of the local youth did not, upon seeing the devastation, change his course towards being a fine and successful safety designer for an airplane company, raising up his own family in joy by honest work. No, it never happened.
For when that mechanic was yet young and walking by a toy shop with a large model airplane window display and was about to turn his head and look, a lone rain drop made a momentous decision (as all raindrops do). It veered slightly and unexpectedly and glanced the boy’s cheek opposite the window display. He, surprised by the feeling, turned to look, put his hand to his cheek to wipe off the water, looked up at the clouds, and walked on past the display to his future.
This parable is copied from a book called “Seeing Differently” by Thomas Swanson. The parable is a profound reminder that tiny events can have big impacts and the ripples can reverberate for years to come. It is impossible to know all the ramifications of a single decision or all the myriad ways in which lives intersect. It is futile to relitigate the past. We simply don't know what good would be tossed out with the bad. For the disciple that means we must walk through life with humility. We must have faith that the ripples of our good actions are making a real difference and we must trust the maker of raindrops when things don't go our way.
Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear…