Monday, December 3, 2012

Butterfly Effect, Murder, We're All Responsible

Yes I realize this is not a butterfly.  It's a snail that I saw on the path during my morning walk.  

Reconnecting with old friends the other weekend, I heard about a girl that went to our high school that was murdered...

Butterfly Effect The butterfly effect is a term used in chaos theory to describe how small changes to a seemingly unrelated thing or condition (also known as an initial condition) can affect large, complex systems.

She had two children and was employed at a Baltimore strip club, was addicted to drugs and had a drug debt. She was shot 5 times in a park in Baltimore.  

This girl went to school with me for middle and high school.  That means I probably saw her at least once a day for 8 years.  She didn't just randomly, end up in a park, shot 5 times.  There were so many choices that she made to get herself into that situation.  I'm not saying it is or isn't her fault.  I'm asking what my responsibility is in all of this is.  

I'm not beating myself up, I didn't really talk to this girl in school, and I didn't keep up with her after... but what if I had?  What if others would have?  What if I would have encouraged her when I saw her, what if I would have called forth the giftings that God had put inside of her?  What if I would have sat with her and listened to her?  

I don't think we realize the impact we can have on others lives.  I know the choices that I've made in my life were not made in a vacuum, I am who I am today because of the influence of others.  

Remember that photo of the snail that I saw on my morning walk?  As I walked away from taking the photo, it was still in the middle of the path, I thought to myself... this little guy is going to get run over by a bike or stepped on.  But I walked away not wanting to get my hands dirty.  Literally. 

When I came back during the afternoon, this is what I found not very far at all from where I left him.  

I'm not trying to make light of, or compare a snail to a human life.  There is no comparison.  But I am asking us, are we willing to get our hands dirty to save lives?  

"All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." - Unknown 

Jesus forgive me for my inaction, forgive me for looking the other way, forgive me for not being willing to get my hands dirty, forgive me for underestimating my impact on the world... 

Engage:  What positive impact can you have right now on someones life?  Let us know in the comments and then go and do it.  


  1. Jim, I totally agree.. I think that most people (myself definitely included sometimes) don't believe that their actions can actually make a difference or that they can really affect other people in any noticeable way. We take for granted what small acts of caring and kindness can do in someone's life. 

  2. :) So how can you positively affect those around you this week?


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