Subtle Impact

Dr. Don Worcester —  August 2, 2013 — 2 Comments

Several years ago our family was driving to Colorado for a summer vacation. We planned our route to take us by Meteor Crater. I had never been there and I assumed our boys would appreciate seeing the crash site of a ginormous rock that hit the high flat desert of Northern Arizona. Stepping out of our car to the rim of the impact site was pretty cool for the guys. The word “Crater” is not an exaggeration. Something huge and heavy going very fast hit that spot and left a mark that will be part of the landscape for a very long time.


Big things make big impacts that last a long time. This is not Rocket Science. What about the impact of little things? How many times have we heard, said or thought to ourselves, “come on this is no big deal”? Little things can and do make lasting impressions. 

October 1977:

I was a sleepy freshman trudging my way to a 7:40 A.M. English 101 Class at Arizona State University. My head was down as I approach the Language and Literature Building. A construction barrier placed across the walkway blocks my path. A section of the sidewalk was being repaired and the new cement was not yet ready for traffic. Two days later the barriers were removed and I resumed my routine. I was half asleep and looking down when I crossed the new section of sidewalk. I saw something that I was not expecting. I bent down to have a closer look. In the upper right corner of this new sidewalk were a dozen leaf prints. The detail of each imprint was amazing. I could see the stems, the veins and the slight curls of each of the leaves that had landed on the wet cement. How much does a falling leaf weigh? How fast is it moving as it floats down from up above? This was a subtle impact


October 1987:

I had finished my Master’s Degree in Counseling and had joined the Young Life Staff. We were starting a Campus Bible study and I was heading to the meeting. I walked past the English building and flashed back to my own freshman year. I remembered my sidewalk, my leaf prints. It did not take long to find the spot. Ten years of traffic and aging had not worn away the marks left by those falling leaves.


October 1997:

I was on the A.S.U. Campus. I was working to finish my Doctoral Dissertation and I was heading to the Library. I passed the language and Lit. Building. I noticed some falling leaves and found myself heading towards my spot. I was having some trouble this time locating the site. The tree was now gone. The leaf prints however were still there.


October 2007:

I was leaving the ASU Campus after speaking at a Young Life College event. It was 11:00 P.M. and I was a little tired as I headed to my car. It was a Tuesday night and the campus was quite and peaceful. Guess what I did? Guess what I found?



Remember this, little things both good and bad can make lasting impressions. Be faithful with the little things as a dad.  Act of grace, words of truth and expressions of love with all leave their mark on our daughters’ hearts and lives. Make a subtle impact this week on your girl.


Grace and Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester


Dr. Don Worcester


2 responses to Subtle Impact

  1. Love this! Love this man! so insightful and good!

  2. Thanks Don. I have a daughter now and she is easily impacted. When she was about 3 weeks old she was never very happy with me holding her and yet was highly contented to have me sit next to her as she swung in her swing. As I sat there one saturday morning I felt discouraged and became almost terrified that I was never going to be able to connect with her. So, with tears I prayed and asked the Lord to help me bond with my baby daughter. He answered and said, ”Be as gentle as you can possibly be gentle. Be very very gentle with her.” Evidently I was ‘man handling’ her like i would one of my nephews because I was so excited to have her, though it did not seem extreme to me as i was cognitively aware that she was an infant. Of course, I listened to the Lord and not long after that prayer, within the day, her whole demeanor changed toward me as I so very carefully and slowly picked her up and moved very slowly through the house and turned very gently and slowly and so on. Seventeen months later her favorite word is ‘Daddeen’. I am still very gentle with her most of the time even though she runs around falling over stuff all day long.
    Btw, I feel encouraged that you kept going to school over so many years perhaps I will try again soon….

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