Plan B For Empathy


Empathy is one thing,

But a law of physics,
I forget the specifics,
Says that two bits of mass
Must by each other pass,
‘Cause neither can dwell
In the other’s boundered realm.
Their space they can’t share
While the other is there.

Silly mass!

I can only be me.
Thou can only be thee.
It is physics-ly preposterous
To think there is a hope for us
To climb into another skin,
To see the world from that within.
And worse, on just your average day,
I’m blind and fine with mass’s way.

So, Plan B
For Empathy:

I will be still and listen to
The One whose hands made you.
He sees the view through your eyes
And talks me ’round to your sighs.
He speaks of you as a father proud,
And melts my callous hardness down.
His heart in mine reveals your road,
Your point of view, your pain, your load.
His love, and not our common plight,
Links our hands, our breath, our sight.
His blood above us canopied,
Makes one space that we both can be.

He’s circumvented physics before;
What’s once more?

I see this world
Through your eyes
Only by seeing
You through His.

St. Elmo Serenade

“Position yourself so you can
See the mountain,” He soothes.

Is this the fracture point?
It’s been this way before,
And will be again.

Doubt is good.
Keeps me from thinking I am
God, makes me listen.
Certainty is good.
It is the best part of us shedding blood
For someone else, for something true.

Certainty can be deaf. Bled dogmatic,
It is the end of
And doubt cripples.
I must resolve,
Against fatigue within and cries without,
To do the grocery trek
So I can cook dinner
For my ocean-tossed children.

So I do.
And there at the foot of the wine-lovely mountain
A fine woman,
Lends me her coupon card for my
Chuck roast, and we talk
About our children. And my heart weeps.
And hopes.

“Position yourself so you can
See the mountain.”

There is a mountain, Oh Lord.
Open that rock and river us.
I see

 “He opened the rock, and water gushed out; it flowed through the desert like a river.”
Psalm 105:41