Albert Lea a community of compassion, grace when needed

Published 9:47 am Wednesday, July 6, 2016

No man is an island.

As the Stultz family is suffering the terrible loss of their joyful, 8-year-old daughter Sophie, Albert Lea feels the pain.

Albert Lea is an amazing community. We are as one big family. Many of us don’t know each other, but we rally together in times of need. We grieve together. We celebrate together. We are called together.

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Like any family, we may have differences at times. But, when the chips are down, we are together. We are strong and we hold each other up. How wonderful to be a part of this family.

Human beings do not thrive when isolated from others. We need each other to survive.  We feel for each and lean on each other in times of need.

“No man is an island,” quoted from John Donne, is exactly the community Albert Lea is. The quote occurs in “Devotions upon Emergent Occasions,” published in 1642.

“All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated … As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by the sickness … No man is an island, entire of itself … 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.”

The bell tolls for you, Albert Lea, and you have answered. Your compassion and grace has been an outstanding example for all.

Visitation for Sophie will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Albert Lea High School. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday in the Albert Lea High School auditorium. We hope to see our community family there.