Walls Come Tumbling Down

17 Dec

Just how do you define empathy? Is it being sympathetic, understanding, or filled with compassion? If you say yes to all, then you might be partially correct. But it is deeper. How about identifying with another’s plight or predicament? Yeah, now we are getting warmer. We visualize the circumstances of another’s life lived out in our lives and we begin to experience some of the emotions created by the circumstances in that person’s life.

Sympathy says, “I am sorry for your pain.”…and then usually builds a wall. Understanding gives a meaningful touch…and then usually builds a wall. Compassion may try to pacify with trite assurances of understanding another’s pain…but they usually have also built a wall.

Most of us are afraid to take the risk of empathy. Empathy hurts. And so we stay behind our walls. There are tragedies that suck us through the walls we hide behind so fast that the walls come tumbling down and there we cower in naked stupefaction, exposed to the raw ache of realization that if these circumstances existed in our lives, death might seem easier.

The world was sucked through the wall this week by tragedy. We experienced empathy despite ourselves in some cases. Our hearts were broken and grieved.

Empathy is magnified by our expectations. Did we feel empathy this week when a car-bomb went off in an eastern Pakistan town killing 17? Did we feel empathy this week when a land mine blew up killing a group of 10 young girls in another Afghan village? Or the 25 blown apart in northern Iraq? Maybe for the 30 children butchered with a knife in a school in China on the same day as our infamy? That was not in America…it was not supposed to happen here…not again…and again. (Maybe if China would outlaw knives…)

We do not expect to hear of such senseless viciousness, with so many young innocent victims. Not in America. Even though Hollywood sends us a continual glut of blood, murder, and violence. Even though our young people can choose to entertain themselves with chopping, hacking, and dismembering in three-D graphics emulating reality to the point of making some of the queasier of us offer up our lunch.

We wring our hands and ask why, and where was God. Our leaders pontificate with knee-jerk reactions stemming from their own favorite political agendas, crying crocodile tears and ignoring the obvious that has been the reality in many places in the rest of the world that choose to live outside the moral code of abhorring violence, the sanctity of life, and loving others as ourselves. That reality  has been steadily growing in our once “IN GOD WE TRUST” homeland as we have turned toward secularism. When all truth becomes equal and relative,  where do we resort for right and wrong? Maybe the inherent integrity of mankind will take us to the place where empathy is a relic. Are you holding your breath for that day?

However, there is such a place and a Master plan for getting there. There is an eternal habitation where hope and final destination become one in the love that each of us was meant to have for our fellow man. Each of us come closer to that destination by sharing hope with hearts even when it means risking empathy for the things that break the heart of God. Where was God this week? He was weeping for the pain He again realized by His choice to give mankind free will fully knowing that many of us would abuse that gift and their fellow human beings in the most horrible of ways. He suffered the brutal death of His son years ago just so that He could set a pattern for empathy, and so that the walls of separation could come tumbling down.

One Response to “Walls Come Tumbling Down”

  1. Klint December 17, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    Thanks for the very timely message! Praying for you.

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