People in power and authority are not often recognized for they ability to show compassion, understanding, and empathy. It is as if the very fact they have position and or status come with an inability to access these types of emotions. We are told politicians have souls and a connection with the person on the street, but the cynic inside sees this as a self serving statement. How can they feel my pain? How is it possible for them to really know my situation? How could they understand the anguish and loneliness?
On one level the accusation is right. It is impossible for one to fully and completely understand another’s situation. It was only in becoming a parent that I understood the emotions flooding my parent’s souls. I can now see the empathy through my memories of their body language even as words failed them. I understand “when Jesus saw her sobbing and the Jews with her sobbing, a deep anger welled up within him.” (John 11.33) These are the natural feelings arising when someone deeply cares.
I’m not suggesting politicians have thought beyond a tool of manipulation. I would gently suggest for anyone in pain that there are many around him/her who care deeply, passionately, and intensely about what is going on in his/her life. Are they empathetic? Yes, beyond anyone’s ability to imagine! Parents, lovers, and friends would gladly take on any and everything if they could to ease the pain of the immediate and replace it with hope. I know as I examine the intensity of my emotions on the subject. There is nothing that I would not be willing to do in order to assist. Sacrifices, life changes, and even things more intense would gladly be put on the table if they could help.
Yet I cannot fix the big stuff, but I can bring hope, love, and compassion to the table. Today is your and my opportunity to ease the pain in another’s life, to plant and nurture hope. Be on the alert; chances like this are rare. Seize the day!
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