Hearts in Empathy Need to Be Comforted

Hearts in Empathy Need to Be Comforted

Ed Thomason

911 (September 11, 2001) is a date that will always be remembered not only by our generation of Americans - but in every generation to come. But for now - in these moments of crisis, there is profound sadness, emotional weariness, and a great host of other emotions flooding our hearts and lives.

Perhaps Christians are among the most emotionally vulnerable. We believe and practice principles of compassion toward one another and our fellow man. We literally "weep with those who weep." But our tenderheartedness and empathy for others can drain us emotionally and leave us feeling like there is a gaping hole or void in our hearts. We feel compelled to do something, to act, to help, to bear someone's burden. Yet, we feel burdened ourselves with feelings of shock, numbness, confusion, etc.

What can we do? What are we to do? How should we respond? Are such feelings normal? Are we wrestling with depression ourselves? One great blessing of the Christian community is that we have one another to lean upon. We can listen, share, reassure, encourage, work together, and pray with and for "one another."

And we can observe and remember that which is profound and truly the best of what the human spirit is about. Yes, some in our world are intensely evil, but their evil has already been overshadowed by a display of human courage, resolve, kindness and goodwill as neighbors and strangers bravely risked their own lives to save others. Let the goodness of humanity and not its evil become our focus in this tragedy.

And we can maintain our focus... There are some things that cannot be changed regardless of how great the tragedy. God is still God. His promises are still true and always will be. God still loves you. Truth is still truth. Right is still right. And remember that good always overcomes evil.

And seek to comfort and be comforted... by other Christians. Listen and share. Know that what you are feeling or not feeling is probably typical of others. Try to encourage someone else. I Thess 5:11 "comfort" and "edify." And let the principles of Christianity govern and rule the day... Display compassion and integrity and let your light shine.

And find direction, comfort and strength in the scriptures...
Consider these passages as a starting place. Heb 12:2, John 16:33, John 10:10, Psm 46:1-3, Psm 30:5, Psm 34:11-19, Psm 40:1-3, 2 Cor 4:8-9; 17-18.

Ed Thomason preaches for the New Madrid MO Church of Christ
His website is at: http://www.preachtoday.com

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