by Cynthia Ruchti

I sat at my computer to work on this blog post. Two seconds later–isn’t that always the way of it?–my husband asked if I wanted to go fishing on the pond.

Since I’d just returned from  a week of girl time with my daughter, it appeared the only logical answer was, “Yes. Sure. Let’s go fishing.”

Warm, still night. Calm waters. Mosquitoes merely curious, not on the hunt. Perfect evening, made more perfect by my simple worm-and-bobber rig pulling in the first fish, the most fish, and arguably–according to my husband–the largest.

I watched the bobber, as still as a bead glued to glass unless I twitched the line or a fish tugged on the other end.

Because the wind had packed up and gone home for the day, the surface of the water showed every wrinkle of movement. I could watch the concentric circles of ripples move from the bobber centerpoint outward to the far shoreline.

The ripples were visible because the waters were calm. Ripples would have showed little if at all if the wind had ruffled the surface.

Do we always see the way our small word-bobbers reach beyond the spot where they land? When we cast our “lines” into the water, are we always privileged to watch the concentric circles, the ripples, move farther and farther from where they started? No.

It’s been said that for every reader who writes a note or makes a comment on a blog or on social media, a thousand others thought about it, but didn’t. Some experts say the number may be closer to ten thousand.

In ideal, smooth water conditions, we may see evidence that our work made a splash. But most of the time, we write without the privilege of knowing if our words mattered at all. We write anyway, reminding ourselves that if a breeze is blowing, wind howling, or a storm raging, the ripples we make are masked, but still as real as the rule of physics that can make a tiny bobber’s influence felt on the far shore. It’s another place where faith shows up. We write because we believe that–in God’s all-wise plan–His words and the words, sentences, chapters, stories, books He enables us to write start a pattern of ripples the keep radiating from center.

“Cast your bread upon the waters,” we’re told in Ecclesiastes 11:1 ESV, “for you will find it after many days.”

It took a trip to the pond, fishing pole in hand–and a moment of reflection about the ripples  a bobber makes–to remind me to keep casting, whether I see results or not. And to praise God for the calm water days when the ripples are obvious.

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through award-winning novels, novellas, devotions, nonfiction books, and through speaking events for women and writers. Her latest releases are When the Morning Glory Blooms (novel), Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices (nonfiction), and the newly released novel All My Belongings. You can continue the conversation here or on her website or