What Jesus Understood About Empathy
I cried, uncontrollably.
I was losing another pregnancy.
She leaned over and in her best attempt to comfort me, she said, "It wasn't God's timing."
Jesus had this group of friends that were all related- Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. Lazarus wasn't doing too hot so his sisters let Jesus know that he was sick. When Jesus finally got to where they were, Lazarus had already been dead for four days. I presume that Lazarus' sisters were a little irritated. Well, I know I would've been.
So Jesus shows up after their brother had already been dead for 4 days and Martha basically told Jesus that if he was there, her brother wouldn't have died, but since he's the son of God and everything, he should be able to fix this, right? At this point, Mary hadn't joined them as yet. When she did, she pretty much said the same thing Martha did and fell to the ground, crying. The group of people that showed up with Mary were crying too. Jesus got pretty emotional and began to cry.
I always found this reading from the Bible to be very interesting because of the amount of emotion that jumps off of the page. Everyone and their mother cried. People were weeping and falling to the ground. Lazarus was dead for four days and the person that they were hoping would save him while he was sick but alive, didn't show up until their friend and brother was dead.
Jesus healed blind people, helped the lame to walk, and turned water into wine so if there was anyone more qualified to raise a dead person, it would probably be him.
Even though Jesus was fully capable of raising Lazarus from the dead, he wept.
He could've arrogantly walked into the situation and raised Lazarus, no problem. Instead, he wept. He both understood and shared in the feelings of his friends and the community.
Every person has the desire to know and be known by others, to be heard, loved, and understood.
When I was going through another pregnancy loss, I didn't need someone to try and solve it or to give me some useless garbage platitude. I needed someone who would share in the suckiness of the situation with me. I needed them to be with me in the hardship and suffering that comes with life.
For those who are crying, be with them in their sadness. For those who are experiencing great joy, rejoice with them. This is what Jesus understood about empathy.