“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”

~John Donne

My life and yours were diminished by the murder of five people in London, and the suffering of many more. Our lives are, in fact, diminished every day by the death and suffering of fellow humans in Syria and Somalia and places we know nothing of.

But it’s not just the death of physical lives that diminishes us, it’s the death of souls. The London terrorist’s soul died before his life and the lives of his British compatriots ended. It died when he became disconnected from Life itself.

As true and powerful as Donne’s words are, there is an even greater truth in the words of Jesus. We are branches, he says, not merely of an inanimate mass, but of a living Vine (“No branch can bear fruit of itself; it must remain in the Vine”). When a branch becomes disconnected from the Vine, from its Creator, its very soul dies. (John 15:1-4)

There is no greater diminishment than this.

So let us redouble our involvement in mankind.

And in eternity.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Diminished

  1. Diminished is exactly the word.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. atimetoshare.me says:

    One comment I read today said that terrorism is a fact of life which we must get used to. I don’t know who said it, but what a sad statement to make. We don’t have to get used to it We need it to end and the only way is by strengthening our resolve. We may be diminished by all this, but we are never lost if we hang tight to the Vine. Thanks for your post Mitch.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well said, very heartfelt! 👍🏼

    Liked by 2 people

  4. cricketmuse says:

    Donne is quite appropriate for your commentary on these recent sad events. Well-spoken and encouraging.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. numrhood says:

    wait on the lord, you will soar your wings, like an eagle in the sky, and a behemoth in the grass. (john 40:1-3)


  6. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Thank you, Mitch, for the wisdom and the challenge. More than shaking our heads in pity, raising our hands in frustration, or even bowing our heads in prayer, we can redouble our involvement in mankind–one person, one interaction at a time. May God use us to bring hope, comfort, and compassion to those who need it most! And as the old song said, “Let it begin with me!”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch,

    Yes, Lord open doors for us to minister to those around us. Help us have the courage to not follow the status quo of doing nothing.
    Thanks, brother,


    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s