When we say the words “Ground Zero” we immediately think of one place: the financial district of New York City. This is the place where terrorists murdered 5,000 people. Yet, before 911, the word meant something different. The words “ground zero” were a military term that designated the specific place a bomb was dropped. Ground zero was the exact spot the bomb made contact. When we think of a massive bomb we think of a big cloud of smoke in the air. But what makes a bomb a bomb is not how high it goes up, but how far it goes out. If you see the effect of a bomb from an aerial photo you see that there is the epicenter of the destruction, the place where the dropped bomb actually made contact with the ground; then there is an ever-widening circle of destruction.
Every sin is a ground zero. A place. A moment. A conversation. A thought. A decision. A seed planted in the heart. But once that sin is committed it has an ever widening effect on ourselves, and on those around us.
Illustration by Steven W. Smith