When one hurts we all hurt

By Wayne Allen

September 5, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

I like to consider myself a student of community. The idea, theology and power of community can and has proven itself to me on several occasions to be a powerful thing. Today (Wednesday, Sept, 4) it has proven itself again.

On most days I start most of my mornings checking my Facebook feed.

I did that today knowing it was going to be filled of prayer requests for my friend Megan. She is having brain surgery to remove a mass from her brain.

Since learning of her diagnosis and the need for brain surgery, people from around the world have been leaving prayer concerns on her Facebook page.

As a project we have been mapping the locations of each prayer concern. They are on a map that hangs in the room where she will spend some of her recovery time.

Thus far we have been able to track 200 locations and 14 countries, from around the world.

Even though Megan is having the surgery in Morgantown, W.Va. hours and days away from some of the mapped locations, there are hundreds if not thousands of people sending prayers and positive thoughts to God on her behalf.

That proves to me the communities we consider ourselves to be a part of, either large or small, are connected to even larger community of people that care for you and me.

“There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community,” M. Scott Peck.

In checking my Facebook feed this morning I was saddened to lean of the passing of Boston Schwamberger. The community has been “Battling for Boston,” for some time.

Although he may not have been aware of all of the support that surrounded him and his family, they are connected to a community that battled many times for this child and would have gladly done it again and again without hesitation.

Throughout the day, there were posts on Facebook from people stating they did not know the child, but knew of the circumstances and joined with those who mourned his loss.

It was obvious this child and his family had an impact and was loved by this community and as a community we weep for his loss.

This week we also lost another great person, my former coworker Cindy Wellman. She lost her long battle with cancer.

I will always remember the Words with Friends games we played together. When I made a move in the game, she was always there to make a counter move and most of the time beat me in the game. I will treasure the moments we had together.

An unknown author was once quoted as saying, “Be strong enough to stand alone. Be yourself enough to stand apart, but be wise enough to stand together when the time comes.”

As a community we mourn the loss of every individual. As a community we can celebrate the impact they have had on our lives.

Today I celebrate the lives of those who have and will continue to have an impact on our community even in their passing.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.