WEEK 2, DAY 13: EMPATHY
Scripture Reference: Mark 13:32-37
“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“I know how you feel.”
“I get ya!”
But do you? Meaning, do you know what it is that someone else has experienced, and in turn understand why they are the way they are?
Let’s Call Her Jane
Let’s call her Jane. That isn’t her real name. She was a single mom. To put it in a nice way, she was underprivileged. She was physically handicapped. Her appearance was dirty, plus her teeth were rotting which made her have a pretty bad overall odor. She lived in a run-down house infested with roaches. And she wanted to be my friend, sought me out almost anytime we were at church together.
Short on Empathy
I’m not making excuses but I had lived sheltered. I was young at the time. Being kind to her took a lot of effort. I didn’t want to hang out with her. It was difficult to be in her presence. To say the least, I was short on empathy. And without empathy, I was utterly useless in terms of the kingdom coming in her life.
Perspective on Jane
Thankfully, the LORD stepped in and helped me out. He shifted my paradigm so to speak, about his daughter, Jane. It was through a dream. In the dream, in the funny way of dreams, I knew I was in heaven. I was in a conversation with another friend and we were enjoying life in heaven.
Suddenly, someone else walked up and joined the conversation. This someone was glowing with the light of heaven and was beautiful in every way. I didn’t recognize her, so I mouthed to my friend, “Who is that?” My friend answered, “That’s Jane.” Inside my dream, I was totally lucid and knew that it was a dream from the LORD, that He had blessed me with His perspective on Jane. He loved her, she was beautiful to Him and if I love Him, I would take on His thoughts of her and his desired future for her.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” Matthew 11:28-30.
“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,” says the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:18
— Lori Grizzell, Greenwood Park Church of Christ
Time to Contemplate:
- Are YOU able to understand or feel what another person is experiencing within their frame of reference?
- Do you have the capacity to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, into their context?
- How did Jesus show Empathy to the populace of his day?
Holy God in Heaven, Lover of our Souls, we come to You asking for a heart like Yours, a heart full of love. A heart willing to abandon our own comfort to bring Your love and comfort to others. Make us people of compassion, empathy and care. Teach us how to connect with and love the human souls You put in our path. In the name of Jesus the Shepherd, Amen.