Ripples In The Pond

What impact do our actions have? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Many readers know my wife is interested in Eastern Orthodoxy. I’m not convinced by it, but I do know there is a lot of wisdom there and all truth is God’s truth. I also like Allie’s priest. He’s a great guy and we’re friends on Facebook and I frequently see many of his posts. He said in one recently that no one sins alone. When we sin, it is like a virus and it sets ripples in place throughout the whole universe.

Lately I have had some time to myself and I have spent some of it watching Monk on Amazon Prime Video. I loved this series when it was on the air and it’s still a favorite of mine today. Something you can often notice is that one murder will be committed and then there will be loose ends from that. Because of that, another murder has to be committed. One act of evil begets other acts of evil.

I know someone who is in a wheelchair today because of a drunk driver. That sin was not done in isolation. Because one person chose to drink irresponsibly and then chose to drive, someone else has to suffer. Any sins that this friend did in response to that are effects of the still prior sin.

Many of us have seen the Progressive commercials about becoming like your parents. In some ways, they’re humorous, but in others, there’s a sad reality. Many of us saw negative traits in our parents growing up and said, “I’ll never be like that when I’m older” and lo and behold, that is exactly what we became when we got older.

Some of you also know my wife has had suicide attempts before. Whenever the topic of depression comes up in groups, this one inevitably comes up. Even decades down the road, people are still feeling the sting of the suicide. It is the worst form of abandonment and rejection that can be given to someone else.

She’s a big fan of Linkin Park. Their main singer, Chester Bennington, committed suicide. It’s still hard on my wife when she thinks of the anniversary of his death. Robin Williams committed suicide and before too long, his daughter Zelda, who he no doubt loved, had to get off of Twitter because people were abusing her in response to it.

This should be something that gives us pause. Sin is never alone. There are no private sins. Even what you do in private will be public because it will effect who you are in public. If you keep watching pornography in private, it will affect how you see people in public.

Today in our country we see this going on. There was the evil of one man using police brutality on another man. Now we have the evil going on of several innocents destroying the property of others and even murdering other people who are innocent in all of this. The evil has had ramifications. Because that cop put his knee on the neck of another man, there are other people suffering today.

However, there is good news, and unlike the theme with Progressive, it is not that I saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico. The good news is that good actions have the same effect. When we do something good and loving, then that will extend throughout the universe as well.

Give someone a little gift and you can put a spring in their step. One of the greatest gifts of hope I got one time was after being in a men’s group and we were talking about not coveting and I said it’s hard seeing as I want to give my wife so much. She really wants a Nintendo Switch for Christmas and I am poor and can’t do it. Lo and behold, someone in that group surprised us and bought us a Switch. What that meant to me is that there are good people out there who care for others. Maybe there is hope for us. We also have another friend who will just out of the blue buy us games for it. That means a lot.

Or consider the person who thinks that no one will ever love them as they are. Then they find love from someone. That is something radically changing. I can fully say my life is all for the better because my wife is in it.

Yet the number one example of this is the incarnation. Jesus came and showed us what love is and that love was shown all the way to the cross and the resurrection. Because of this, Christianity changed the world entirely with the end of slavery, the rise of science, the spread of literacy, and the greatest example of love we ever saw.

Today, we all have that choice. Which route to choose? Acts of evil that will beget more evil, or acts of love that will beget more love?

I know I desire the latter. I hope I will choose it as well.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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