Function: verb Inflected Form(s): dripped; drip·ping Etymology: Middle English drippen, from Old English dryppan; akin to Old English dropa drop
Date: before 12th century
transitive verb 1 : to let fall in drops; 2 : to let out or seem to spill copiously;
intransitive verb 1 a : to let fall drops of moisture or liquid; b : to overflow with or as if with moisture 2 : to fall in or as if in drops 3 : to waft or pass gently
Yesterday the icicles began melting. Drip, drip, drip – all day until the sun began setting and it was again too cold for anything to melt. Each time a drop of water fell, the contour of the melting icicle changed. The changes were small – sometimes barely noticeable, but by the end of the day many of the icicles that had clung to the gutter along the front of my house were gone. Enough drops had fallen to melt them entirely.
As I watched the drops fall to the ground I began thinking about how we are slowly changed over time. Life’s events shape and reshape us. We experience joy and sadness. We live through times when we are acutely aware of God’s presence and other times when we are not sure God was ever present. Drip by drip we are changed. Rarely do I look back over a day or week and feel changed over that span of time, but as I look back a year or two or ten or twenty, I know I am different. I am different because of the path I have chosen to live. I am different because of the life partner I have chosen. I am different because I chose to devote time to being a mother.
I am changed when I choose to think poorly of another of God’s children. When I choose to hold on to anger and resentment I am changed. Sometimes the changes are barely noticeable, but drip by drip my life is impoverished. I am changed when I open my heart to someone else. Sometimes the change is barely noticeable, but over time the changes etch their effects onto my soul.