Tag Archive: empathy

New Suits, Bow Ties and “Standing With” Our Friends

“Right after the new year began, my wife of 14 years shared that she wasn’t sure if she wanted to continue with our marriage. She informed me that she “needed space” to sort through her feelings. We had just experienced a season of many difficulties: my battle with cancer in 2011; my mom’s recent battle […]

Read more

I Helped Her Cry

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another. ~Charles Dickens Sixty tea light candles had been caringly placed in the front of the sanctuary for the annual non-denominational “Blue Christmas Service”. Each unlit candle represented a person loved, one who was absent, one who could no longer be present this […]

Read more

Cure Without Care

“Our tendency is to run away from the painful realities or to try to change them as soon as possible. But cure without care makes us into rulers, controllers, manipulators, and prevents a real community from taking shape. Cure without care makes us preoccupied with quick changes, impatient and unwilling to share each other’s burden. […]

Read more

Friends

“Don’t judge a book by its cover when you don’t understand what that person’s been through.” –Corrie Louise Rose   Isn’t that true for all of us? If others really knew who we were on the inside, knowing our true vulnerabilities, our insecurities, our wounds, our pains, they couldn’t help but have empathy for us. […]

Read more

Look Up

“One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.” —Lucius Annaeus Seneca  Sadly, far too few of us have relationships in which we truly understand and are understood. During a question and answer time after a noontime talk we gave to a local civic group, a man in […]

Read more

Dietrich Bonhoeffer–“The Great Listener”

“Christians have forgotten that the ministry of listening has been committed to them by Him who is Himself the great listener and whose work they should share. We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God.” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (New York: Harper & Row, 1954), 98-9.

Read more

Creating Safety

“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.” Karl A. Menninger “Help! That is what I’ve wanted to shout for most of my life. But I didn’t. I […]

Read more

The true definition of the word ‘obedience’.

Obedience. This word most often evokes many negative feelings and ideas conjuring up images of someone ordering us to do something without us having any say or input.  A parent yelling at a child to clean up her room.  A husband or a wife demanding that the other work harder to bring in more money.  […]

Read more

Listening as Spiritual Hospitality

To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept. Listening is much more than […]

Read more