124. on empathy and faith

Empathy is stupid. It’s a burden, a curse. It’s a monkey on your back that just won’t let up.

It’s not an easy thing to feel this ache to help, to comfort, to heal but to not be able to. I suppose one can pray but so often, prayer seems to have so little reach. You speak it into the air and where does it go? What does it do? How is it supposed to work? And even after the, “amen,” the ache is still there.

Better the selfish bliss of ignorance, to not know, to not comprehend, to not care. Better to wonder why they can’t just get over it. Better to pity than to burn for resolution, to seek after some solution, whatever the cost.

To make another’s pain one’s own, to hear it echo in your own heart (a ping, tart and tang), to yearn for justice and redemption. What use are these when there’s nothing you can do?

And a prayer seems like so small a thing, yet faith (the mustard size of it) can amplify, multiply its use. Faith, the evidence and substance of it, can be the only hope one can hold on to. And where do you place this faith? In the One who can turn water into wine, the One who declares that those who mourn will be comforted. In the One who wove the fabric of space and time in ten dimensions, confounding Mensa minds and atom smashers alike.

…but all that said, I still think empathy sucks.


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