Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Bigger Picture: Permission

In the wake of an earthquake that seemingly shook my heart right out of my chest and onto my sleeve, I had an epiphany.

There's a very fine line between empathy and guilt.

While I need to give my resources and feel and cry out to God for His help on behalf of the suffering, sometimes, quite frankly, it's enough to give and feel and cry out to God for His help.

By lingering in others' suffering, internalizing it and feeling what some would call survivor's guilt, I'm not lessening anyone's pain. I'm not helping anyone's grief. And I'm not focusing my energy on the things that will help -- like giving and praying.

In fact, by crossing the line of empathy and stepping into guilt, I'm letting tragedy steal more than the precious lives lost to destruction; I don't need to give it anymore. So, today, though I'm allowing myself to feel and pray for those who are hurting, I'm also granting myself permission to live without feeling guilty that I cannot do more, be more or help more.

Most importantly, though, by consciously ditching the guilt, I'm taking the focus off of me and centering it on the One who can do abundantly more than I ever could. I'm giving permission for God to lord over my life instead of allowing my own feelings to rule and own me.

OK, deep thoughts finished for the day. I think.

Three Angels Children's Relief if another worthy effort to which you can donate if you wish. Thanks, MJ, for passing on that link.


  1. Good for you! I'm glad God spoke to your heart in this way. :)

  2. Thanks Hy for sharing God's leading. I always appreciate your posts and this one in particular spoke to me.

  3. They are just cranky, but I'm grateful that they are alive and with me.

    Work from home India x

  4. I think that you did come to an epiphany. I'm glad that you've come to this realization. Thank you for sharing all these important links too.


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