Saturday, February 3, 2018

judging judging

the pain of empathy

empathy can be a hard taskmaster:
when I leap into someone
whose values antagonize my sense of rightness,
I want to reject that empathic leap,

as much as I want to understand
why some supported Trump for President,
when I feel their hatred and fear of the other,
the immigrant, the woman, the different,
I am soiled with the hate I feel in them,

when I leap into a person
whose religion demands of her, of him,
a damning judgement on anyone
who has another Savior than theirs,
another path with the spirit that isn’t their path,
I am offended by what I feel to be a self-centered religiosity,

I live the quandary
of rejecting others’ judging I find excessive,
yet I judge that judging?

maybe, somehow, I need to love better those who hate,
if I live long enough,
maybe I can understand the truth Jesus lived,
to love even those I don’t understand,
those it pains me to be for a time.

by Henry H. Walker
January 27, ‘18

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