“‘Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,…’” Luke 1:78 NASB
For years as I drove our children to the daycare provider I observed a couple walking slowly down the sidewalk. Appearing to be in her mid-forties the woman walked with a halting, listing gait. She struggled with each step, laboring to keep her balance while moving forward. An accident victim? A stroke? Multiple sclerosis? Her companion walked beside her, appearing to mimic her gait. Rarely did he seem to rush her. Rather, he walked beside her with a empathetic gait. Warm weather or cold I’d see this couple slowly struggling down the sidewalk.
My path to work changed; for sometime I didn’t see the them. Then one day I spotted them. Now she sat in a wheelchair zipping a few feet ahead of him. But he, after years of walking with an empathetic gait continued to walk as if his limbs or balance were somehow compromised. After years of walking in empathy it appeared he was no longer able to walk without listing, halting steps.
I believe this is how You call us to walk with others. With great sympathy You looked down from heaven seeing our hurts, our sadness, our struggles. But instead of merely offering Your sympathy You choose empathy, walking among us as the God-Man. You felt what we felt, You hurt when we hurt and You hoped: hoped to see us change into an empathetic people, being Your hands, Your feet, Your heart in a world struggling with suffering, sadness and hurt. You showed us an empathetic gait.
Lord, help me to be faithful to You. Help me to walk in love, patience and empathy with those You bring into my life. Help me to walk with an empathetic gait.