Understanding someone else’s pain – empathy. Yes, empathy is not necessarily specific to pain. But I find that pain can bring people together in a way that other feelings cannot. I was emailing a sister a few weeks back. She was afraid to share the depth of her feelings for the lost and dying world and the pain it puts her in. One of her final statements was “no one wants to be around”.
There is so much I feel and think and mourn over that I can’t share because people don’t understand. And then I’m weird and no one wants to be around.
I feel weird and like no one wants to be around myself. Honestly, I would never share the full depth of the pain I feel, for fear of driving everyone further away. I am sure she knew I feel the same way she does, otherwise I do not believe she would have shared this with me.
A few weeks later a different sister emailed me. She had gone to a woman’s conference one weekend in hopes of spiritual renewal but one thing after another dragged her down. There were so many things that had happened she was overwhelmed. So many people to pray for – medical problems, spiritual problems, family problems. At the end she said “you were the only one that I thought would understand”.
Sorry for laying this on you, but you were the only one I thought would understand the conviction of this circumstance.
I know the weight of prayer too. Each name is so special to our heavenly Father. Each one is an image bearer of God that needs to be loved. How can we not agonize in prayer over these needs people have? You know the love God has for us is the love we should have for these people in our lives – both the elect and the lost. And sometimes we cannot bear to watch them suffer even though we know we will suffer until Christ returns to set things right. It drops us to our knees, prostrate before the Lord, pleading in prayer to ease their pain.
It seems that sharing this pain we feel is an act of love so that we realize we are not alone, even when loneliness is the pain we feel.