One of Many
© Ferna Lary Mills
My heart goes out to the people in Central Florida who have suffered damage, injury or loss  
during some very terrible storms. Watching the devastation unfold on the news, I'm struck by
one central thought: with all of the devastation, some people losing loved ones, others losing
everything they owned in life, their spirit still remains strong!

In each interview, I hear the same words repeated: "We're alive, nothing else matters." "We
just have to do what has to be done now and get on with our lives." There's a sense of
gratefulness, even in their loss, and a sense of faith that although it's unknown "why" this
occurred, that "God is good and we will get beyond this."

The capacity of the human spirit never ceases to amaze me. Through the events of 911 and
Katrina, and other major events in both our national and international news, this spirit always
seems to shine through the devastation. So I'm left wondering, WHY is this spirit so hard to
revive after the death of a loved one when it's just
us?When it's not a national disaster, or a
disaster involving so many other lives? When we, as one soul, have lost the love of our life,
where is this rejuvenation of our spirit, our faith, and our will? Whey are we not as "one", like
the "many" in a major disaster?

I've reached the conclusion that there is but one major difference. When we, as a single "one",
lose a loved one, all we can see is our tremendous loss. We become blinded to everything
else. But in a major disaster, although we have suffered a loss, it's so easy to look around and
see that there are so many others hurting, too. Many, it's easy to see, have suffered much
greater losses than our own. It doesn't really lessen our loss, but it does give us a greater
perspective. We are not the only ones hurting. We are not the only ones victimized by grief.
We see others who have suffered greater than us and lesser than us, but it makes us realize
that through all of it, we are
not alone.  Maybe that is the greatest reason that a loss to us as
"one" is so much more difficult to pull ourselves out of, than a loss to us as a multitude.

So, for those of you who are grieving a loss of a loved one right now, a loss to you, as "one",
let me remind you . . . you are NOT alone. Yes, you are the only one who is suffering from
your own personal loss, but you are not alone in your grief. If you go to Google and type in
grief stories, you will find there are more than 1.8 million pages of them online. Here at
Rainbow Faith, we had more than 300,000 visitors to this website last year alone.

No. You are not definitely NOT alone. You are not walking through the rubble with all of your
neighbors as the residents in Central Florida are doing, but you are walking through grief with
literally MILLIONS of other citizens across this great nation, at any day of the year. Whether
you have lost your spouse, a child, a parent, a friend ... grief is grief, and that same grief is
experienced in every household in the world, at one time or another.

If residents of a community can pull together in a time of crisis, can we all pull together as a
community in our time of grief? What can you do? That's the easiest part of all. For example,
where did you go this week? To the grocery store? To church? To the mailbox? How many
people did you come into contact with along the way? How many did you offer a smile... or a
gentle word of kindness... or a word of encouragement? Do you know for a fact that not one
person you met this week is grieving just as you are? After all, didn't see them wearing a sign
on their heads as a sign that they are in mourning? Don't you wear a sign on your head?  (I
would hope not.) So, can you be so absolutely certain that the people you meet aren't grieving
too? Not one of them? How can you know? Well, you can't.

Let us all pull together, as those beautiful spirits in Central Florida are doing during their crisis,
and draw from each other's faith ... each other's strength. Let us remember to pray for one
another... to encourage one another ... and as Jesus said, "bear one another's burdens."  Can
you imagine the prayers of 135,000 visitors to this web site if we all prayed for one another?
Can you imagine the results of those prayers?

Remember the capacity of the human spirit. You are not just "one".  You are one, of many.

May God bless you this week and lead you into the path of others whom you can encourage
with a simple smile, and may He lead others into your path to encourage you when it's needed
the most. In the words of a Central Florida resident, "God
IS Good."

God bless you and bring you Peace.


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