Do you ever wish you could take people with you?
To your past. Especially to the lessons that are landmarked on your heart.
We’d skim across sad lessons like a pelican on the ocean waves. Just enough to feel it.
We’d pause at the hard lessons.
Maybe sip a few in, like delicious hot coffee. Delicious now because of how strong it made me.
The lessons I’d want us to bathe in are the ones I’ve learned empathy from…
The young girls I bought handmade roped bracelets from in Tijuana, Mexico, whose hardships were tattooed on their faces. Their sadness was more genuine than any I’d ever seen before. Their eyes strongly affected my perspective.
To the hammock where I heard the most vibrant giggle. A girl my age who was born with cerebral palsy, enjoying life to the fullest extent swinging high, in the hammock, as a cocoon. Protected from the harsh stares she was used to.
Past the boarded up houses in Detroit. Past the homeless, famished people in Chicago, and Toronto. Bruises. The memories that taught me to have empathy toward people who are normally judged. I imagined their stories as I walked by. The circumstances that led them to lose hope.
If we were walking along this road, passing by the lessons of empathy, we’d peer down the alley and see a 19 year old girl who made many bad choices, in moments of youthful ignorance. She was given a second chance to jump on the right path. This is why she’s able to see past the circumstances of girls in the same alley, on the brink or even aftermath of, the same choices.
We’d also peek into a home and watch a young mom cry. Full of regret. Wishing she’d listened instead of racing past the red flags that were slapping her in the face trying to stop her. She was learning empathy toward those who want something so badly they ignore the blaring warning sirens.
“To a famished man, every bitter thing is sweet.” Proverbs 27:7
As our walk comes to the end of its purpose, we embrace the lessons we’ve shared.
Our eyes are renewed.
We look forward to the droughts ahead, where we will learn to appreciate the feast.