Empathize with others’ needs to overcome loneliness.
As I’ve probably mentioned, I had the fine opportunity of going to the CentriKid children’s camp this summer at Southwest Baptist University. On the first day, one of the boys--I’ll call him JD--a young man who had absolutely driven me nuts for a year on Sunday mornings, walked up to me. I had been prepared for that moment when Jen handed me the room assignments. There was JD’s name in the group of boys I was to watch over. Woohoo!
JD approached me. “Aren’t you mad that you’re stuck with me?” he asked.
“No,” I lied. But really I wasn’t lying. It didn’t bother me. I figured that JD would be a challenge at some point during the week, but I hoped that he would also bring some sort of blessing.
As it turned out, there was one challenge--fairly minor--and several blessings. I not only survived working with JD but thoroughly enjoyed it. Who’d have thought?
Let’s be realistic. It’s next to impossible to feel lonely at a bustling, crowded kids camp. My biggest problem was having too many opportunities with various kids and adults offering conversation and activities. However, had I ever felt isolated or alone, I could have simply spent some time trying to let JD realize that I cared about him.
Sometimes when we empathize with others, when we let them into our lives emotionally or physically, we can find ourselves somewhat drained as those people can be hard to love. I’ve felt those frustrations--this week. But I can say that even when those people who sometimes clutter and sometimes bless my life are a little too much, God uses them to chase away any sense of isolation or loneliness. Personally, I sometimes think that I’d like a bit more loneliness, but in reality I know that whenever we care for those whom God loves, He’ll chase the lonely blues away from our lives.
- When do you find it hard to empathize with the needs of others?
- When you do empathize, how does God bless you?
- Ask God to open your heart to the opportunities to love and connect with others so that neither you nor they will live life alone.