Romans 12:15: "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep."
I have a day of rejoicing ahead of me! I will be with a friend who recently faced a life-threatening situation but is improving daily now. We will be going to several appointments where I know I will hear doctors and therapists tell her she is a miracle in that her improvement so far is exceeding expectations. We will smile. We will probably have a few laughs. We know this story could have ended very badly but we won't be focusing on the "what if's" as we will be rejoicing! This is a good day!
Even as we rejoice, though, I will be thinking of some other friends today, friends who are grieving. Today they endure the funeral of a family member. They are saying good-bye to someone they love, someone young, someone who's death was unexpected. They have suffered multiple losses and difficulties, one after another. They are sad. They are tired. They are grieving.
Years ago, shortly after I'd suffered a miscarriage, a dear friend sent me a card he'd made himself. On the front was a big, tough hand-drawn Frankenstein guy. On his cheek were tears. Inside the card referred to Romans 12:15's words regarding weeping with those who weep. I was weeping and he was letting me know that he was weeping as well. Obviously he'd never had a miscarriage. He'd never known what it was like to have your body work against your desire to protect the life within you. Nevertheless, he was feeling my pain. That card meant so much to me. It comforted me just to know that my friend shared my sadness.
I think Romans 12:15 is the ultimate verse about empathy, about how we are to share this human existence. We are not islands. We truly are commanded to be there for each other, through the wonderful as well as the horrible. God knew that we could find strength in each other. He knew that we needed friends. He knew we were not meant to feel alone in our happiness or in our pain.
So today I rejoice
and today I weep.
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