Empathy
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Empathy

I listened to someone sing today. It was so bad it was beautiful. The singer was very old and sitting by a window watching it rain. Maybe once upon a time her voice was lovely and lilting but no longer. Now it was raspy and weak. In her voice I could hear joy and pain, both excitement and disappointment. Life is like that. One day our cup overflows and the next takes it away. It is such that makes us human. It is such that fashions within us the divine.

It was like that for Jesus. One moment the crowd was enthralled with him and the next they were clamoring for His demise. I am tempted to say during the down times we need the presence of God to carry us but I am thinking perhaps the good times are equally or perhaps more so the dangerous times. Most likely it depends on the person for each of us is so distinct there is no other like you or me.

Yet despite our uniqueness there are common bonds that tie us to each other and we feel other’s pain and joy. I believe that is why I enjoy “The Price is Right.” Even though I don’t know the contestants there is joy in seeing them win. I think the word for that is empathy. Jesus certainly had it. Isaiah said, “Surely He has born our grief and shared our sorrows.” Let’s add to Isaiah’s message and say, “Surely He laughs when we laugh and smiles when we smile.”

Written by Roger Bothwell on November 11, 2002
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453