Put on the R70i Age Suit and you immediately feel forty years older as you experience impaired vision, hearing loss and reduced mobility. [I’m not sure I need the suit, I’m experiencing some of those things already on my own.]
The Age Suit was designed to help caregivers better understand their patients. Wall Street Journal correspondent Geoffrey Fowler wore one and wrote, “The unforgettable, and at times distressing, experience shed light not just on aging, but also how virtual reality equipment can teach empathy and shape our perceptions of the world around us.”
Empathy is the power to understand and share the feelings of another. During a time of severe persecution against the followers of Jesus, the writer of Hebrews urged fellow believers to “continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering”.
I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to truly empathize with hurting and suffering believers around the world. I can’t imagine what life must be like for refuges stuck in the squalor and constant danger of camps like the one at Mae La in Thailand where over 50,000 have fled the violence in Myanmar. There is a growing crisis in Italy and Greece where over 76,000 have arrived by sea from Africa. They are stuck there, living in horrible conditions. Christians are particularly vulnerable to attack by Muslins.
How would I survive in those kinds of conditions? Would my faith remain strong or would I give up hope? I’m praying that God would make me more sympathetic to the plight of others who are suffering. And I don’t want to just feel sorry for them. I want to have enough empathy to get involved and do something. May my prayers be more than just empty words. With the Lord’s help may I back them up with acts of love and compassion.
Christ the Lord, who became like us, call us to stand with others “as if (we) were together with them” during their time of need.
Have a great week!
If you would like to comment or if you have questions for Pastor Barry you may direct those to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.