The Gift of Empathy

"Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people."
Philemon 1:7 (New Living Translation)

Hey girlfriends!

I just wanted to tell y'all why I love being a woman today. I was at my local gym getting ready to try to sculpt my flabbiness when my eyes landed on a small huddle of three women. The woman doing the talking had her back turned towards me, but the other two ladies' faces were in full view. I was too far away to hear their low voices, and I have never been able to read lips, so I could not even guess what they were talking about.

I didn't need to know what the conversation was about; I quickly gathered from the eyes filling with tears, the arms that reached out to the speaker to embrace her, and the look of empathy on the hearers' faces that comfort and understanding were being given to and received by the one in distress. This all happened in about thirty seconds' time. The scene almost made me want to cry.

Girlfriends, somebody we all know desperately needs our encouragement today. When asked, we are so good at hiding our pain. A "How are you?" from someone usually brings a "fine" or "good" when we may be feeling anything but that. Some of us may not be able to give much to the needs of others financially, but we all can give the gift of a listening ear, sharing tears with someone who doesn't need or want a trite answer, and the comfort of a simple, "I am so sorry that you are going through that."
It is hard to admit that we have problems. But I believe that we forfeit the blessing of encouragement from someone else when we lie about our true feelings.

God has made His Spirit to live inside of so that we can communicate to someone who desperately needs to know that she is not alone. We as a gender do this really well when we are focused enough on others' needs instead of just our own.

Let's give the gift of empathy today in an email, a phone call, or--best yet--an actual person-to-person encounter. Let's be a shelter to someone else. I believe when we do that, we touch the heart of our heavenly Father deeply.

Jesus, there is so much hurt everywhere. I pray that I would be sensitive to others around me today. Someone needs to know that You are embracing her today. Let these arms of mine and the words of my mouth be the way that Your comfort is received by her.