Our pastor has been going through a sermon series entitled "Relational Fitness". We have been discussing how important empathy is to our relationships, and he has been giving very practical advise on how to react appropriately to others' emotions. He asked the congregation this week if anyone had an example of their own that they would like to share where someone had shown them real empathy. I lifted my hand.
On Friday morning, Stephen left for Pennsylvania for the weekend. After he left, I was trying to get the kids and I together to run some errands. We had some movies due back that day, and we had somehow misplaced one of the DVD cases. I began searching the house for it. I looked under the couches, under the beds, in toy bins, under the cushions. All the while, D'Arcy was asking me to dance with her to her ABC CD. I kept telling her firmly that I had to find this case. I was becoming extremely frustrated. Where could this case have gone? After searching for over an hour, I gave up. Then I looked down and noticed that there was a little bump under the rug under the coffee table. Ah...success.
I went into D'Arcy's room and casually said, "Guess what. I found the case." D'Arcy totally surprised me by squealing, "Yeah, mommy! You found the case." She jumped up and down for me. It felt so sincere. My little, almost three year old seemed to understand and reflect what I was feeling inside. She showed empathy in a way that I would never have gotten from an adult. Yet, it was a reaction that seemed so grown up for her. I was so touched that I had to share with my church and with you.