What does it look like to "weep with those who weep" during the coronavirus?

Hi @Interested_in_Evangelism,

Here’s Dr. Vince Vitale, walking us through how he approaches the questions raised in our hearts by the coronavirus:

Two quotes:

It’s very important to me as a Christian, that first and foremost, God weeps at the suffering of this world, and that has to be our first response as well.

Are we going to have all the answers to this question? No, we’re not, but I don’t think we should expect to.

Discussion questions:

  1. Which of Vince’s comments speak to you in this time?
  2. How can this perspective help you be more empathetic as you discuss these topics with family and friends?
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Simply put empathy means literally feeling what they are feeling, the depth of pain, discomfort, and heartache for thier current dilemma. Looking at Christ encounters with many in the bible shows that each person was treated as thier own person not like the others. There are no one covers all answers. Vince’s depiction of his mother marrying some one else he would not be who he is, he would have a different mind, intellect, and emotional being not the one that is weeping before you needing help to cope with an overwhelming issue. In our me mentality world the pain of others is not a focus, they would rather not connect through empathy. An old phrase “necessity is the mother of invention”, is not why we fix problems, it is our calling to weep with those that weep being like minded as He is. This may be an oxymoron but doing unto others as you would have them do unto you is not the way, persay, pray, they are unique in how, who., and what. Our answer is not always the answer, Gods love in us for the hurting human being before us. As a teacher, preacher, friend what I say may resonate with some but what is felt, compassion, care, love has much greater impact.
To quote Scrooge
“Show me some tenderness some depth of feeling for this man”
Thanks for listening
Mike

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Thanks for starting this timely thread! What spoke to me more is that God weeps in our suffering. Its interesting God weeps even when He knows how to fix our problems.That highlights where God’s focus is - the “person” in the midst of the trial. Unlike the idea of karma, where all suffering is just and deserved, here we see Jesus entering suffering even when undeserved.

At this time of the pandemic, there may be needs that we are called to fill if in our capacity, even when there is some risk of infection or loss of some treasured resources. The health professionals who are in the front lines of this pandemic making costly sacrifices I think are showing us how to weep with those who weep.

In contrast to this shining example, there are also examples of people losing housing out of the fear of the virus, there are families squabbling over resources and there are elderly who are suffering alone. Without the inner drive to genuinely care, it’s going to be difficult to help in some of these situations. We may not see a reward right away but we can remember the tears that Jesus shed and His promise to be with us.

As we pray for God to use us to bless others at this time, needs will come knocking at our doors. Are we then going to step in?

Prov 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so.

Prov 11:25 The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.

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I think one of the important things in my own life is that there can be a real hardness of heart. I became very aware of this when living in South Africa. I would hear so many murders and rapes and terrible news all the time that at the end the news became just normal and ‘ordinary’. I remember sitting and wondering why I couldn’t cry for the people being hurt, or even really feel compelled to pray for them. I was surprised how hard my heart had become to no longer view people as people but merely a statistic.

During this COVID virus the same thing can easily happen, it is in the news all the time, they give the stats of people infected and of those who have died. It is just the way things are now. So for me, when my heart feels non-empathetic, when it doesn’t feel the weight to see healing upon peoples lives, then I ask God to give me a heart that feels what He feels, and a mind that sees how He sees. I need God to change my heart and change my desires for those in pain and those afflicted.

I believe a softening of the heart for others is something that is very important to keep praying for during these times, a heart that actually ‘moves’ us to be compassionate.

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Thanks for this thread. Thinking as a father of two kids. I believe in God weeps at the sufferings of his children even though it might be disciplinary suffering.

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