No man is an island – a poem by John Donne (1572-1631)
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
What an amazing statement, “If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less.” That line never fails to stir my heart.
During John Donne’s time, the ringing of bells was used to let people know that someone within their community had died. It was important for the community to know they’d lost one of their own. We need that kind of thinking in our world today. The loss of life is taken too casually in our world.
Whatever befalls any one of us affects us all. Life is precious. And, when it comes to the sons and daughters of Adam, we are created in God’s image. Unjustly bringing harm to anyone is an attack upon Jesus through whom “all things were created.” (Colossians 1:15-20)
Now, you may say, “I love my family, but I hate people, especially slow drivers in the passing lane!” However, the fact is, there are at least ten times in the Bible where God tells us to “…Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39)
So, take a deep breath and pray with me, “Oh God my Father, help me to love (fill in the blank). In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen”.