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Simply One of the Masses


Three and a half years ago, I travelled to Italy to do a nine-month internship. I had only briefly met John at that point and had no idea that a few short years later I’d be on another internship trip. Italy was a beautiful place to be: I lived in a simple apartment with my college friend, Brianna Morrison, neé Balken, right on the outskirts of the large town of Campobasso, and from our back balcony was a lovely view of some vineyards.
What brings me back to that first couple of weeks I spent there is a feeling that is once again knocking at my door here in India. I didn’t know a soul yet, besides Brianna and our supervisor, and I hardly knew how to do anything for myself–a very debilitating feeling. One day, just before dusk, I decided to explore the small winding roads that led through the peaceful vineyards. I took my discman with me and put in Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. It is filled with both joyous and haunting melodies with few lyrics. I walked at a brisk pace seeing only one or two people–for the most part, I was alone. Suddenly I was swept with a sense that I didn’t matter–I was simply one of the masses traversing the planet, unknown to most of this world’s population. Looking to the sky above, I hardly even felt like God knew where I was. On the map, I was isolated from all whom I knew and loved by a continent and a vast ocean. I felt almost like I was annihilated, as if I didn’t have a name. I felt choked and turned in on myself. It was such a strong feeling of the hopeless sort of nature.
pensive rachelAs I settled into life there in Italy and got to know people and how to do things for myself, the feeling disappeared, but here I am, feeling it again–simply another one of the masses that this planet supports. Have you ever felt like there are too many people in this world and you just need some space? Have you ever turned a deaf ear to the tragedies of war, famine, disease, earthquakes, across the world because those people are simply part of the masses? This planet has too many people on it as it is, doesn’t it? Well, what if you are one of those masses–one of those people who make up that “too many” number? Three and a half years ago I felt like one of those who, to us, are without a face, without a name. I’ve felt it here too. I know that it will pass, but it’s very real while it lasts. Does anyone hear? Does anyone care? Do they think I matter? I am comforted by promises of God as I read the treasury of His Word. He sees me. My face is ever before Him. He loved and died for the masses, yes,–but He also saw me that awesome and awful day when he gave up Himself. What a comforting thought when I am feeling like one without a name, like one of the masses.

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