Hundreds of years ago, John Donne penned a famous poem which is, perhaps, my favourite (why waste good song lyrics on poetry anyway?)! It is called, “No Man is an Island”, and reminds us all that we are not designed to fly solo in life. In fact, the New Testament shows God’s purpose for us is to function in a community of interdependence. Check out the words of that poem below and note the similarity to the Bible’s thought that Christians are really interconnected parts of a body, where the suffering of individuals causes suffering to all (1 Corinthians 12:12-26). I sometimes wonder how much I allow myself to feel truly diminished by the death or suffering of others. To have Christ’s compassion is to genuinely love in all circumstances of conflict and pain, where other people truly matter more than most other things in life.
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.