September 25, 2012

Much Ado About Nothing

Instead of breaking down ALL the Greek or Hebrew origin of each scripture, I am linking it to a concordance. This will cut down on the length of the post as well as give you an opportunity to dig in deeper with each only where you choose. If anyone desires me to tie them all together for them, simply send me an email or type a comment below the post. They are all anonymous and only loaded on the post if you approve us to do so. However, whether you want it posted for everyone else of not we will be answering your questions privately :)

We last spoke about Helen Keller wanting her rag doll to have eyes. Her sympathy for her doll was so great that she went wild not desiring her doll to suffer the same tragic life she was living. This reminded me of the verse in Hebrews chapter 4:

For we do not have a high priest who cannot * sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

Helen's mother was attempting to get unify with her daughters mind, feel what she was experiencing in order to "sympathize" with her condition. Why? Well to a mother this is probably a bit more obvious than to anyone else. Mom's have this God woven quirk - we care deeply, without fail ~ unless damaged by miss informed beliefs ~ that we are able to jump out and calm peoples fears. We want those we care about to know they are alright; that everything is going to be A OK.

Some mom's however, get very afraid and their fear, instead of calming, sounds alarms of panic when their loved ones are distraught. How many of you can see that fear + fear = mayhem? God gave us such a precious gift - a saviour who will suffer, or feel our pain, right there with us out of compassion.

In the previous post, The Rag Doll, I battled with whether to use the word sympathize or empathize. Sometimes, we hold ourselves rigidly to words, but we do not usually even fully understand them. So if you are someone who has been baffled by all the empathy / sympathy babbling and red flags start slapping, as if a tornado is blowing through. Let's calm the winds by seeing through the lens of God's word.

Firstly, I do not really like square pegs and square holes which keep things tidy. This means I have to put aside preconceived ideas while I compare everything to God's word for definition. I'm more of a jump in, tear it down and toy with parts, till I figure it out kind of girl :) So without further ado, in true Candy style.....Let's break away from what we know and get involved with the characteristics, personality and motions of these words. Oh, yes and Secondly, empathy isn't even an original word found written in the bible; this always disturbs my peace; just saying.

The word sympathy has been translated from sumpatheo as you saw above, if you clicked the blue word. Meaning to feel sympathy with someone; to commiserate having compassion. It means to be touched with whatever they are experiencing. This is not the root word of origin though, it comes from Sumpathes, meaning to have a fellow feeling or sympathetic; having compassion for one another. However, this isn't the root word either. Sumpathes stems from Sumpascho, which actually means to experience the same kind of pain, jointly. It means to suffer with them.

The funny thing is Sunpascho was not the root word. In fact there is a dual origin of these words: Sun, enunciated soon, which is a preposition meaning with (and so meaning: accompany,along, associates, beside, companions, including,together). Isn't that awesome! But wait, there's more! The joint root word of Sumpascho is pascho. Pascho has two forms pentho and patho: pentho when means to experience a sensation or impression (usually painful) and feel, have passion, be vexed and at times maybe even suffer. But this is what really wowed me: patho is the Greek word which the medical term pathology is derived. Here is the medical definition:

Patho-: A prefix derived from the Greek "pathos" meaning "suffering or disease." Patho- serves as a prefix for many terms including pathogen (disease agent), pathogenesis (development of disease), pathology (study of disease), etc. The corresponding suffix is -pathy which is a system to treat the disease.

It has the flavor of connecting, as if one with the one in pain, to the point that you can isolate the problem and THEN setting a path for it to be healed from the pain! You might find this odd, but all this is incredibly interesting to me; and exciting!

Look at this verse from Hebrews 2, verse 17:

Therefore, He had to R77 be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become R78 a merciful and faithful high R79 priest in things R80 pertaining to God, to make R81 propitiation for the sins of the people.

Now to put our pieces back together with perfunctory understanding: We must look from where the person is standing, finding something within our understanding to "join with or come alongside their emotions" not for the purpose of becoming a burden to their mayhem. But to speak peace to the very real fears they are seeing. If we are not there, and they are not clinging to Christ already, all they will be left with is the fears tearing at them. Most of the time, their fears not actually happening in these moments, it is in their mind. This is why being able to healthily join with them on their journey is so stabilizing to them.

Think about the storm, the boat and the disciples. The storm was real, the shaking and tossing was real, but their state of mind could have been resting; just as Jesus was. Jesus connected with their feeling, but it did not shake his ability to help them. He did not wake up, shouting "OH, my God, how could you forsake me; you knew I needed sleep!" which would have equaled mayhem. He knew that faith through speaking truth would disperse mayhem.

Helen's family did not see Helen they saw their own fears. Helen needed someone to be peace, an anchor, to speak to the chaos and settle it down. She might not have had eyes to see, but neither did those around her have healthy vision. Let's strive to not be the alarmist in the group. Let's be the problem solvers =D

So, no matter your stance on empathy or sympathy keep your eye's peeled for someone making a big fuss and tell gently tell them "what you're seeing isn't really as big as you think it is; step over here with me and I will walk you where you can see!"

I pray that each of us remember, God's divinity cocoons us all in His mercy and grace. And as Paul spoke to Timothy making a request, I make the same one to each of us: "Guard that which is committed unto thee , turning away from the profane babblings and oppositions of the knowledge which is falsely so called; which some professing have erred concerning the faith.

Grace be with you, each and every one.
Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc®
©Candace Huffmaster 2012, All Copy Rights Reserved

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