Friday, August 07, 2020
My sympathy is stirred.
Last January, Patrick Martin was shopping for a computer at Best Buy, when he looked over and saw the famous basketball superstar, Shaquille O’Neal, doing the same. Patrick approached Shaq and told him how sorry he was to learn of the death of Shaq’s sister from cancer, and he also offered sympathy over the death of Shaq’s good friend, Kobe Bryant. Something about those simple condolences moved O’Neal. In a few moments he came back over to Martin and said, “I like y’all, so get the nicest [laptop] in here and I’ll pay for it.”
How strange! A simple heartfelt word of sympathy brought tremendous blessing to the one who uttered it.
In a far deeper way, we’re enriched when we feel sympathy for others. We’re blessed when we let ourselves identify with the pain of others, feeling their sorrow, praying for their needs, and lifting up their spirits. Hardened hearts are resistant to God’s blessings, but when our hearts are tender toward others, they are also receptive to God’s care and concern. Sympathizing with others helps us discover happiness.
To mourn is to sympathize. Happiness is discovered when we sympathize with those around us who suffer.