You know that feeling when someone sees you? Like really sees you?
It’s relieving isn’t it? It’s like a portal opens to a heavenly realm.
But if you’ve ever been on the outside, it may seem like years since you’ve been truly seen by another person. Because what’s the opposite of being seen?
Invisibility is the symptom of being pushed into the margins and pushed beyond the social tapestry and pushed to the depths of isolation.
But remember the woman who touched the cuff of Jesus’ cloak (Luke 8)? Because of her condition, she’d not felt a human touch for 12 years. Her presence in that crowd was scandalous, even illegal. Her desperation for a human connection was deeper than even her desire for healing.
This woman had been alone for more than a decade. Pushed to the margins. Pushed beyond the social tapestry. Pushed to the depths of isolation.
After her touch, Jesus sought her. He SAW her. She was healed, reintegrated, and restored to the relationships she so desperately desired.
Empathy requires a response.
It doesn’t mean we have to have prior first-hand experience to show empathy. But we must be willing to see another person, to meet another person where there are, fully present with their pain, withholding shame and judgement, transcending the rules of social propriety, touching and being touched by a human in their suffering.
Because you can’t truly care about a person you’re not close to. In order to care, you’ve got to be close.
That’s empathy. And empathy requires a response
And the response to empathy is action.
Stay with us throughout the month of November for our TEAM series as we explore the values of Teachability, Empathy, Action, and Movements.