Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wisdom for Wednesday - Empathy

Good evening!

I hope you are hanging in there as you approach your Christmas break. I know my class was especially challenging today, so I am already thinking about how I need to be more prepared for "battle" tomorrow. Ha!

Anyway, thanks for stopping by for this week's Wisdom post. Let's get to it!

Some of you may remember when my son--then a freshman--blew out his knee almost two years ago. It was a challenging time for him (and me having to see him go through it). The recovery was long, slow, time-consuming, and painful. He really had a great attitude through it all…no pity parties here! 

The damage was extensive (including complete rupture of ACL, torn meniscus on both sides of the knee, micro fractures of the bones). The doctors were not very optimistic about repairing one part of his meniscus, but they wanted to try since he was so young. As a result, he wore a locked straight brace for six weeks. He was on crutches for ten weeks. Physical therapy went on for months. His dedication to getting better--and getting back on the basketball court--was admirable.

On Saturday during a game, he injured his knee again. :(
He was devastated, fearing the worst.
I was devastated, fearing the worst, but trying to be strong for him.
Every time I woke up Saturday night, I prayed over the situation. That the Lord would help us accept whatever happened in a way that would be pleasing to Him.

We spent the next few days answering questions, listening to stories of other people's experiences and advice, and hearing what I have begun to recognize as "God speak" from well-meaning people. 

I'll be the first to admit that I have been guilty of "God speak" in the past--and may resort to it without meaning to--but I am trying to learn other ways of comforting people.

What is this "God speak"?

 Our pastor has been preaching through the book of Job, and we have been studying the responses of Job's "friends". Who needs enemies, right?

Anyway, through this study of Job, I have learned that it is okay not to have the answers. It is okay to not understand or be able to explain why something has happened (to me or) to someone. I don't need to have the perfect words or the perfect explanation or worse still the standard "everything happens for a reason" comment (which I do believe, but I have learned that hearing that in the midst of a trial isn't all that comforting). 

It really is just better to say something like, "I'm sorry, and I'm praying for you."

All this to say... 

 I've just been thinking of that word empathy, and I'm pretty sure we could all do a bit better at it (myself included)!

Have a blessed week!

P.S. We don't know the extent of the damage yet, and we're pretty optimistic that it is a minor fix with a short recovery time.

1 comment:

  1. We can be very well-meaning at times and still get it wrong, huh? Sometimes wisdom is having something to say and not saying anything at all...or just expressing love is enough. Good words.


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