If We do not Develop Empathy

If we do not develop a sense of empathy, the ability to experience the pain and joy of another, we will destroy ourselves;

Empathy for the African American male stopped by the police for the umpteenth time for no good reason;

arguingEmpathy for the police, spit on, abused and risking their lives to protect us;

Empathy for the gay man or woman humiliated and ostracized by their own faith community;

Empathy for the traditional Christian who wonders if everything they were taught about sexual morality is going to be reversed;

Empathy for the immigrant child who has lived in the US all their lives but now lives with the shadow of deportation;

Empathy for the blue collar men and women who are frustrated and afraid because all they can find are minimum wage jobs with no benefits if they can find a job at all;

Empathy for the lonely and afraid, the fearful and angry, the confused and ignorant, the poor, the marginalized, the hated.

Empathy does not require agreement, but it does aim at understanding and appreciation of where the other is coming from.

Empathy seeks incarnation; as God, in Christ, showed empathy to us.

If we fail to show empathy and do nothing but despise and scapegoat the other we will keep killing each other.

Topic: church and race

 

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2 Comments

  1. Finally, a response that speaks to the heart of the matter and not to the surface rhetoric and name calling. Thanks John – hopeful that this sentiment grabs a foothold and spreads.

  2. Thank you, Jay. Well said. I believe that empathy comes when we look for and find the image of God in every person, when we seek to understand life from their perspective, and when we move towards others with love and let go of fear.
    In Peace
    Chris

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