Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
This four minute video, entitled “Empathy,” was produced by the Cleveland Clinic and presented by the health care organization’s CEO at his annual State of the Clinic address. (In including this video, I am only highlighting the video, and not saying anything about the institution or organization.)
Though no words are spoken, the video highlights people in the hospital with captions of what each individual is thinking or feeling. It concludes with a the following question: If you could stand in someone else's shoes... Hear what they hear. See what they see. Feel what they feel. Would you treat them differently?
Though this is not a distinctively Christian video, it is quite powerful. And as a Christian, it conveys powerful truths that are rooted in Christian truth, beginning with the dignity of all human beings as they are created in the imago Dei, the image of God. We are called to love and care for all human beings, especially those who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6:9-10).
It is important to keep two key truths before us - one from the life of the Lord Jesus, and one from an exhortation from Paul.
Jesus: "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd" (Matt. 9:36; cf. Matt. 14:14; 15:32; 20:34; Mk. 1:41; 6:34; 8:2).
Paul: "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15).