Brian could never have imagined how many lives "this" has affected. The trickle down fallout of this kind of tragic loss, and the mind-boggling mysteries and deep confusion, has hurt, disillusioned and literally destroyed so many. Like ripples in a pond --they just keep radiating out touching more and more in all directions.
No one thinks about how many people their one single life touches. Or how one single act can keep on destroying lives for years to come. The mental images that keep one up night after night; the depression that sucks all joy from another; the marriages that could not survive all the grief and sadness; the self-destructive behaviors of still another; the guilt; the anger; the blame; the falling away of the previously devout Christian; the faltering faith of others. The ripple effect has touched so many, hurt so many, destroyed so many...
It is impossible to know how many. Not one life or two lives or even the three lives affected that night...but hundreds of lives forever altered.
Could any of us imagine that one single decision we might make has the ability to alter hundreds of other people's lives? Could we even guess that one simple choice, made in a weak moment could have such far-reaching, devastating effects on so many? We would never be so bold or so arrogant as to believe we could affect another's eternal future and yet, that is what every single choice we ever make is capable of doing.
Not just the choice to take a life but every single choice we make -- every word --every deed good or bad makes a difference in someone's life. We either make the choice to help, to uplift, to edify, to improve, to comfort, to encourage or to love or we make the choice to hurt, to embarrass, to discourage, to disillusion or to depress someone.
Very few, if any, choices we make have "no" effect on those whose lives we touch. Even "paper or plastic" has far-reaching, long term effects on the planet which consequently hurts --everybody.
So before you light that cigarette; before you reach for that joint or that pill or that drug of choice, before you pick up that bottle, before you make that secret phone call, hit send on that text, before you post the next message on Facebook or cut someone off in traffic - think about what unalterable difference you may be making in someone else's life.
Sometimes one simple decision, one seemingly innocent choice can: lead to a divorce that alters the rest of your child's life; lead to a drug overdose that you may not come back from; can cause someone else to feel so hopeless or despondent as to commit suicide; can cause a wreck that will kill someone's mother, husband or child; can ruin someone's reputation and leave them bitter and angry; can cause the loss of a job that supports a family; can cause someone to have their children permanently taken away; can cause someone to lose their faith.
One choice caused almost 3,000 people to lose their lives on September 11, 2001 leaving in the wake orphaned children, widowed wives and husbands, devastated families, neighbors, friends, co-workers and even strangers thousands of miles away were affected.
One choice cost up to 20 million Jews to live in the most horrific conditions and then lose their lives in the gas chambers during the holocaust.
And One choice caused the downfall of mankind to sin - causing suffering and sickness and death to come to the whole world until the end of time.
What will your next choice cause?