The stories of the innocent victims, simple bystanders cheering on their loved ones and friends at the end of one of the most grueling of human endeavors, the Boston Marathon, is horrifying. The highly respected Richards family now has a little girl missing a leg, a mother battling for her life with metal fragments lodged in her head, and 8 year old, Martin, gone forever – an innocent family tragically tore apart by a homemade bomb.
The public outcry over this tragedy is that innocent people have lost their lives because some want to make political statements at others expense. Perpetrators call these innocent lives lost or devastated – “collateral damage.” They were not individually targeted, but were unfortunate victims of the act of terror. They are collateral damage.
The reality is that every act of sin brings with it collateral damage. Innocent people suffer for every act of rebellion that a person chooses. Whether it’s a drunk driver’s victims on the roadways, a mother grieving over an overdosed child, a child who loses a father to irresponsible choices, children whose families are torn apart by infidelity and divorce, there are always innocent victims to every act of sin.
We’d like to think that at worst we are only harming ourselves, but the reality is that we are all deeply interconnected and that every action we take effects other innocents. We cannot escape our impact on others.
The Boston bombing is only the most recent, visible and obvious proof that every act of sin brings with it collateral damage.