The Art of Empathy

I’ve become heart-weary over the angst and seemingly non-stop feuding on social media over political matters.

Admittedly, I too have posted things, some in jest with silly emojis, some from my soul’s take on the current climate. Somehow someway, and I do not claim to be the bearer of answers, we must get back to civility and the art of empathy.

In the halls at Divinity School, empathy is innate and a cornerstone to our learning. Loving our neighbors as ourselves is not a newly-printed bumper sticker or meme. As a highly-sensitive person, I feel the weight of the pain of my friends who are living in fear. One doesn’t have to agree with anyone, but in order to reflect our Jesus, we need to listen to attempt to understand pain. It may be pain we don’t comprehend. It may be a collective group or those we haven’t paid attention to before. But I remind myself constantly who did Jesus go to? He went to the outcasts. I am a widow, my son is now fatherless in the earthly sense. Jesus comes to us. He goes to the Contributor newspaper saleswomen and salesmen. He goes to the homeless man on Third Avenue in Nashville via my son with a water bottle. He goes to those without. What a good, kind, loving Man is He.

How would His story have played out if He was royalty living it up in a castle, throwing parties and gloating over His power? It couldn’t have because He is the Man of dusty sandals, gentle hands, of little means, and expansive empathy. May we all, no matter what viewpoints we hold, remember Jesus was empathy in the flesh. Our following His lead is the way to peace and harmony. He’s got us in His palm, now let’s hold our neighbors in ours.

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