Happy Monday! I almost missed this week due to computer problems. Ah, the conveniences which become inconveniences! I am glad to be back and have you share a cup of coffee and my thoughts!
Life is messy. When I was growing up, I somehow had the idea that life fits in an ideal little box. I thought I could make my plans and have them work out. I grew up within a religious circle, so I also had the idea that if I “followed the rule”’ I’d be safe from harm.
I’ve been recovering from those beliefs ever since. This may shock some of you, and I can understand why. I believe it is human nature to desire that our lives fit into the mold we have set for them which is achieved by a list of rules to follow. When we do this, we feel in control. Alas, it is a false sense of control. It quickly loses its luster once something traumatic touches our lives.
Recently, I heard a sermon about the balance of empathy and reality. Empathy is the ability to see life from the perspective of another and reality is the truth about life. The truth about life is that it rarely goes as we hope or expect. Quite often, life throws things at us which shakes and rocks our very foundation. It is then that we need the empathy of another. In his sermon, the pastor pointed out that empathy is “your pain in my heart.”
Have you ever felt that kind of empathy from someone? I have. It’s at those times that the reality of life feels easier to bear. True empathy does not try to convince you not to feel, or that the trouble will be short lived. It simply acknowledges and sits with the pain.
The truth is, God does not keep us from all harm. He does not promise a life full of ease. Sin, free will, the devil and the controversy between good and evil are at play every second of every day. I am reminded of John 16:33, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” This is the the ultimate in reality and empathy.
Until next week, be blessed,