Empathy: placing our feet in shoes that do not belong to us, so that we might know the needs of their owner.
This is a requirement where I work, providing wheelchairs and other mobility related items to people who need them.
While working, my feet have figuratively been in many shoes – shoes that couldn’t feel the feet inside of them, shoes that were worn from pacing back and forth in a hospital waiting room, tiny shoes that sat on the dresser next to an oxygen machine, and large shoes that have never stepped outside.
It’s an honor to wear these shoes. I’ve experienced such great heartfelt rewards that surpass all of the money that the world could offer.
A hero of mine, Mother Theresa, is the mother of empathy. She has provided “shoes” to countless people by loving them.
She answered the call to love her neighbor as herself, and she rose to every challenge that came with that call.
Mother Theresa, as Eric Metaxas describes in his book, “7 Women And the Secret of Their Greatness,” was an “extraordinary woman of God.” She lived with the poor, sat with and brought health to the sick, provided shelter, education, food, and love for orphans.
She learned empathy and love by seeing her mother care for poor, the sick, and the orphaned. She said that she was able to see everyone as God saw them.
Is empathy something that can be taught? Or is it poured out, into our cups that overflow, onto those we are divinely appointed to be in touch with? I believe that both love and empathy are provided when we see people the way that Mother Theresa saw them!
Empathy & Love are best friends. They even wear the same size shoe! One is usually not found walking without the other.
Reminds me of a Father and His Son…