Jodie's Life Blog - 05

Empathy - is an amazing word. It means much too many, in various camps. Whether you're a person of faith or an emerging believer, empathy can come with the territory. I also believe it is written on the heart of every human being and belongs to the beginnings of our creation. Hopefully, it is something we all try to strive for. It usually can come (like a tidal wave) after a sole or series of challenges in one's life.

Almost, like a small gift from the rough gravel of disappointment and life's sometime sadness - empathy can be a journey in itself and will bless your heart with a new understanding of how it is to walk in the shoes of a brother or sister. Empathy can draw us closer to our friends and family and even those we do not know. It reminds me of a selfless wonder that occurred on a cross, at a place called Golgotha - I think of this amazing and remarkable sacrifice daily.

From where I have travelled, both physically & emotionally - I have witnessed the love of people for people. In a care setting or in a regular everyday family routine. Empathy is everywhere. Yet, it is up to us to practice it and be empathy to all of God's creatures around us. How do we do this? Follow your heart - follow your faith - speak your emotions to people and tell them of your love for people, their struggles, their desperation and their needs. When I go to the store, I try to ask the person serving me, how their day is going. Are they looking forward to a break and when do they get to 'knock off'? Simple enquiries like this seem well, 'too simple' - but, it might be the only time someone asks that store clerk how their day is going. We often see people like a machine - they are far more than this and they are more than an animal or a 'mammal' - a creature of evolution. People are divine reflections of our ultimate purpose and remarkable beginnings. We must never forget where we came from and ultimately who continues to refresh us from inside and out.

Personally, I cannot forget those around me who held my hand and led me through my darkest hours. Those people (a reflection of the best of humanity) will forever be examples to me of how I can then 'pay it forward' for others. Is empathy a dying art? I believe popular media want's it to appear so. When we turn on the news, what do we see? A lot of bad news, about bad people and nasty acts of horrible degree's. We may be graced to see a tiny snippet of a kind act on the end of the evening news, as a novelty report or occasionally a special report, during Easter or Christmas. Does Empathy and kindness only happen at these times of the year? Hardly - it is all around us - I believe humanity is still interested in being 'kindness & love' to each other - we may have to look for it a bit harder AND turn off our negative news. It does nothing to make us better people, but simply fills us with distain for others and makes us believe there is no empathy or kindness, left in the world.

What will you do TODAY for someone else? Forget what your body and mind is telling you to do. Follow you're empathy, your desire to be kind and reach out to others. It may be as simple as asking your local store clerk, how their day is going? Maybe taking an ill neighbour's dog for a walk, speak to someone about your love for God and your faith - reach out with a food package for someone who might be struggling.

If you're a patient and have dealt with some struggles in health - how can you take your ugly rocks and turn them into gold nuggets? SIMPLE. Take your pain and turn it around 180 degrees, in the other direction, start to speak about your gold nuggets, even if they have not yet arrived. Thank God for your difficulties and ask Him to lighten the load - then share and walk in the shoes of brothers and sisters. But, be careful to share for the purpose of uplifting and not pulling down. It is easy to whine and complain - but, taking your squashed tomatoes and making spaghetti sauce out of them will bless more people, then you can ever imagine.

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.