“No Man is an Island”

Well, the three of us have made it back to Kansas from British Columbia, thankfully! A couple months ago we had planned a long road trip to see Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, and many other sites along the way. Instead, it turned out to be a 40-hour driving marathon to get home. So much for plans.

With that, with so many people’s plans getting altered and canceled for the foreseeable future, (and being a slow time to have a travel blog) it made me think of this great journey that we are all on every day.

More important than road trips or vacations is the journey of life that we are all on together. We did not choose for this pandemic to happen, just as those during the Plague or the Spanish Flu did not either. Yet, that is not what is important. As Gandalf said in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” We can ask “Why?” but perhaps we are not meant to know. Evil does not come from God, but there are things that happen that are beyond our comprehension. Like King David in Psalm 13, we can only ask: “How long, O Lord?”

Yet, King David did not lose the faith. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, he persevered. And he is not the only one to do so. Humanity has gone through trials and tribulations before. One need not look far back in history to see examples. During these trials, however, it was not inward self-centeredness that got people through, but relationships both towards God and our fellow man.

In this crisis, all of us have an opportunity now to help one another. This is the time that we can come together as fellow human beings, remembering the second greatest commandment: to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). And it need not be a draining act of effort, either. Truly, it can even be as simple as staying home to limit those who are infected. I do not want to be infected and I imagine my neighbor does not want to be either, so it is best to stay home. But, that does not mean we need to be cut-off from the rest of the world. We’re in this together even though we must remain physically apart. It is a strange paradox, but it is true. We are in this together and in the 21st century, we can still connect with all those around us. This is a struggle we are all apart of and together in, just as we are all together in this journey of life, as one of my favorite poems says:

 

“No man is an island,

Entire of itself;

Each 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.”

-John Donne, Meditation XVII, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions

 

Once more, we are in this together. No one is alone. Then, after all this is over, we can all see each other again and celebrate!

Be safe out there and stay healthy.

Thank you very much for reading.

 

 

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