As I paced my tiny office, an internal argument was raging.
It’s none of my business. She already said everything is fine. She does not need my help. She said so herself.
But remembering that look in her eyes and that overwhelming and powerful sense of anguish radiating off of her made me know that something was wrong.
I have the gift of empathy. I call it a gift now, but it was many years of wondering what was wrong with me and wishing that I could stop feeling. It can be exhausting and emotionally taxing.
Imagine walking into a room or to a group of people and being able to sense exactly who is most distressed. Imagine absorbing the rage and anger of others. Imagine soaking in the hurt or fear or elation or jealousy of others. No wonder I spent years trying to rip this gift from my body as if it were a shirt on fire.
The Psalmist reminds us that “[t]he Lord hears the cry of the poor.”
That continual nudge from the Spirit reminds me that my empathy is a gift, and this has helped me navigate others’ emotions. Instead of absorbing the feelings of others, I have learned to recognize and turn those feelings into tools to help. Sometimes that gift can be as simple as complimenting someone’s outfit but other times it can be as extreme as allowing a patient to stay at their appointment long enough to make a domestic violence report safely away from her home.
We are called to trust the Spirit and not ration our gifts (see John 3:34). How much better would society be if we leaned into those urgings of the Spirit and acted upon them daily?
Think about a gift you’ve been given by the Holy Spirit. How will you gain confidence in using it boldly?Trust the Spirit. // @substance_soul Click To Tweet