Bridges of Empathy and Understanding

I found one of those old surveys back from 2009 that I did, per cousin’s request, only for her to see.  Remember those?  I have done a lot of them in my history on the internet, and I’m always amused when I read them again.  Sometimes, because I realize how much I haven’t changed, and other times, more so recently, because I realize I have.

And it gives me mixed feelings.  One line that I mentioned in one is that “we are all cut from the same piece of cardboard”.  And while part of me still believes that to some extent, the other part of me realizes that there are some things at a fundamental level that I cannot fathom being or doing.  That maybe the cardboard is more varied than I initially thought.  The kind of cruelty that exists in humanity is hard to understand.  It makes my stomach churn and my heart heavy.  What happened?  What do I do with this information that I somewhat wish I did not know?  I used to feel that as humans, we were really more alike than we thought we were, and that much of the conflict in the world came from misunderstanding.  But now, there are some things that are truly alien to me, simply beyond my understanding.  Is the bridge too long?  Maybe some just cannot be built.  What would words be worth?  What if they were words of life?

Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and talk to some of these people who experienced dynamic salvations– John Newton, for example.  A slave trader who, even after his conversion, did not give up slave trading until years later when he encountered severe illness.  I wish I could sit with them and talk to them and ask them, “What happened?  What led you to write Amazing Grace?”


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