IN ANOTHER MAN'S SHOES


I once took a snapshot of a pair of shoes and I wondered how the owner felt wearing them every day. It was not the front of the shoes that intrigued me although the cover was tired and peeling off it could be polished, shined to look improved and accepting. It was the insole of the shoe that caught my attention, they were completely wore off and devoid of any form of comfort. Walking is not supposed to be a painful experience but to the owner of the shoes it evidently cannot be a pleasure from all indications. What coping mechanisms did he adopt during winter, raining months and summer months? How did he conceal his feelings and prevent his peers from noticing his shoes?

People might admire the owner of these shoes though they cannot see what is going on with his feet. His external expression is jovial, happy and comfortable. He comes from a huge house smiling all the time. What they are not aware of is that he sleeps on the bare floor in the corridor of the mansion.

So before you deny or belittle the impact of somebody's experience you might need to walk under the same circumstance as the other person. This is done by listening carefully and putting yourself in their shoes under the same circumstances to have a better understanding of their trauma. To sit back thinking, "How can you have suffered blisters from wearing those shoes when you a big man”- This line of thought without sufficient information and empathy can be damaging.

I spoke with an engineer who works with the London Underground and in the course of our conversation he mentioned that there are suicide attempts almost everyday. We need to be more empathetic when people express their feelings, concerns or hurtful experience. By trying to understand where they are coming from we would be in a better position to help others.

A way forward is the ability to listen and allow others express their feelings without pointing a finger at them to say, "You are wrong". To somebody in a desperate position that could be his final push. A little empathy will go a long way, if you can put yourself in another man’s shoes.

Comments

J
John
I know about a rich man who opted to sleep rough for a whole week to gain an experience of how life is on the other side. After the experience he said he has a deep respect for rough sleepers and would never belittle or disrespect them again.
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Geraldine
May the good Lord grant me a heart that is able to truly empathise with others, bowels of compassion and love. As humans there is a natural tendency to be judgemental of others without knowing what indeed the other person is going through. Incidentally you find people who may have gone through a particular terrible situation and by the mercy of God came out of that situation but still turn around to condemn people in that same situation they were delivered from pretending like things have always been perfect for them. Not nice at all! Thanks a lot Pastor Anita for this piece. May the good Lord continue to strengthen and uphold you by His victorious right hand of righteousness in Jesus' Name. Amen. Shalom!
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Peculiar
Thank you Pastor Anita. May we have the grace and patience to hear people out with compassion and understanding. I have learnt so much in my walk in life...everybody's life and strengths is not like ours. Sometimes we like to think "If it was me, I would have done things very differently." We have no idea what we would do in the persons shoes. I have learnt not to say "I know how you feel." That's very unlikely.
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Sis. Mimi
Yes Pastor Anita...having a heart to care, that's what it's all about!
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Daniele
Thanks for this post. I used to wish i could empathise with people's issues. Even as a child if i was i pain or worst in tears i would hide and cry. I just did not like it when people felt sorry for me, trying to console or comfort me; for me it was worst than whatever made me cry in the first place. Crying is therapeutic and sometimes the first step towards emotional healing, victorious living especially when your heart has been broken. As an adult during some heart break moments I shut myself in my closet or at work in the W/C and cried. i did not hide bc i was afraid of people, i just wanted to go through the process with dignity, did not want anyone's pity. For me i was communicating my pain to God, it was not even about about what had happened, it was about the state of my heart that was in pieces, how i loved God and how much I felt he had let me down, that is what my tears were saying, just did not want anyone interrupting with their know it all. It like " my God, God hast thou forsaken me" moment. That moment is sacred, i did not want somebody telling me i should just pull off the nails and come off the cross, or just miracle myself out of it. They mean well, but are not speaking by the Spirit. Too many cooks spoil the broth. because of that terrifyng moment, n the humiliation and death that followed, today I am living a ressurrection life. There is an epignosis of God in me that could have gotten only from the grave. The joy in my heart is the joy of salvation, deliverance and victory. So when you go through fire, no one can understand, you do not need anyone to understand; the Lord understands and thats what matters for salvation is of the Lord.
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Daniele
Thanks for this post. I used to wish i could empathise with people's issues. Even as a child if i was i pain or worst in tears i would hide and cry. I just did not like it when people felt sorry for me, trying to console or comfort me; for me it was worst than whatever made me cry in the first place. Crying is therapeutic and sometimes the first step towards emotional healing, victorious living especially when your heart has been broken. As an adult during some heart break moments I shut myself in my closet or at work in the W/C and cried. i did not hide bc i was afraid of people, i just wanted to go through the process with dignity, did not want anyone's pity. For me i was communicating my pain to God, it was not even about about what had happened, it was about the state of my heart that was in pieces, how i loved God and how much I felt he had let me down, that is what my tears were saying, just did not want anyone interrupting with their know it all. It like " my God, God hast thou forsaken me" moment. That moment is sacred, i did not want somebody telling me i should just pull off the nails and come off the cross, or just miracle myself out of it. They mean well, but are not speaking by the Spirit. Too many cooks spoil the broth. because of that terrifyng moment, n the humiliation and death that followed, today I am living a ressurrection life. There is an epignosis of God in me that could have gotten only from the grave. The joy in my heart is the joy of salvation, deliverance and victory. So when you go through fire, no one can understand, you do not need anyone to understand; the Lord understands and thats what matters for salvation is of the Lord.
C
Chizy
The truth is that people do not care how the other person feel. They don't want to know what is happening to you since it doesn't concern them. People are naturally selfish, and without empathy. Since it doesn't hurt them, they will refuse to see what the other person is going through. They just sit on their comfort zone and pass judgment without bothering to put themselves in another persons shoes to see how it hurts. Thanks beautiful woman for this piece. I love you!
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Gwendoline
This is so true Pastor Anita. As human beings we are too quick to judge and condemn others even though we are not in their shoes.It is unfair. This is a beautiful write up. We need to learn how to empathise with others. Furthermore, before passing cold and harsh judgements on people it is good to hear from both sides and weigh what you have heard so that one can say something that is not only impartial but informed!!! As Christians, no matter our demonination, we all need to bridle our tongue, walk in love and avoid passing judgements indiscriminately. May the Holy Spirit continue to help us in our walk with God.
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Victoria
Dear Pastor Anita, thanks a million for this blog in another man shoes, as you said listening to people and allowing them to express their feelings and what they are going through. I am going to take this onboard. God Bless you Woman of God.
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John
There is a saying that 'Just because you are right, does not mean I am wrong, you just haven't seen life from my own side'. Before we judge people or blame others it is good to understand them from their own point of view. This is how Jesus did when he was on earth. He never blamed anyone but had genuine compassion on them. Jesus never followed the Jews to stone the harlot but he asked them to cast a stone on her if they are better than her. If only Christians could live like Jesus.
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Wilson
Showing empathy for others who are confronted with difficulties, is a function of humility. The proud think that they are in charge and wonders why someone will 'allow' himself fall into such a situation. Life is such a complexity. In the Lord's prayer, He said" and leads us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one..." If God doesn't shield you from the evil one, you cannot no rest in this darkness filled world. The one who acknowledges the frailness of humanity is wise. You see, the challenges of life are no respecter of person. They come to the mighty and small, rich and poor, adults and even the innocent very young ones, the very wise(smart) ones and the not so wise ones. It is all by the mercy, mercy, mercy of God that we are standing. Nothing else, absolutely by nothing else. Thank you ma. keep shining forth the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. More grace!
F
Faith
Thank you Pastor A for this blog. I am learning a lot & look forward to the next one. As people we are very quick to judge especially if we've never walk in the same shoes. I never knew how it is to loose sum1 close to me(a loved one) until it happened to me. I use to assume that I understood & felt other people's pain of loss through death but I was liying myself. As soon as it happened to me I felt how it really is and as a result I am able to help comfort those who are going through the same experience without judging them. There has been a lot of experiences in my life that has thought me to spread the love of God, symphatise with those who are in pain & celebrate with others when they do. May the Lord help us, so we know that we are not just here on earth for ourselves but to shine His light so that those in the world can see Jesus in us. Thank you Pastor for your ministry. I love you alwayz!
F
Faith
Thank you Pastor A for this blog. I am learning a lot & look forward to the next one. As people we are very quick to judge especially if we've never walk in the same shoes. I never knew how it is to loose sum1 close to me(a loved one) until it happened to me. I use to assume that I understood & felt other people's pain of loss through death but I was liying myself. As soon as it happened to me I felt how it really is and as a result I am able to help comfort those who are going through the same experience without judging them. There has been a lot of experiences in my life that has thought me to spread the love of God, symphatise with those who are in pain & celebrate with others when they do. May the Lord help us, so we know that we are not just here on earth for ourselves but to shine His light so that those in the world can see Jesus in us. Thank you Pastor for your ministry. I love you alwayz!
F
Faith
Thank you Pastor A for this blog. I am learning a lot & look forward to the next one. As people we are very quick to judge especially if we've never walk in the same shoes. I never knew how it is to loose sum1 close to me(a loved one) until it happened to me. I use to assume that I understood & felt other people's pain of loss through death but I was liying myself. As soon as it happened to me I felt how it really is and as a result I am able to help comfort those who are going through the same experience without judging them. There has been a lot of experiences in my life that has thought me to spread the love of God, symphatise with those who are in pain & celebrate with others when they do. May the Lord help us, so we know that we are not just here on earth for ourselves but to shine His light so that those in the world can see Jesus in us. Thank you Pastor for your ministry. I love you alwayz!
F
Faith
Thank you Pastor A for this blog. I am learning a lot & look forward to the next one. As people we are very quick to judge especially if we've never walk in the same shoes. I never knew how it is to loose sum1 close to me(a loved one) until it happened to me. I use to assume that I understood & felt other people's pain of loss through death but I was liying myself. As soon as it happened to me I felt how it really is and as a result I am able to help comfort those who are going through the same experience without judging them. There has been a lot of experiences in my life that has thought me to spread the love of God, symphatise with those who are in pain & celebrate with others when they do. May the Lord help us, so we know that we are not just here on earth for ourselves but to shine His light so that those in the world can see Jesus in us. Thank you Pastor for your ministry. I love you alwayz!
F
Faith
Thank you Pastor A for this blog. I am learning a lot & look forward to the next one. As people we are very quick to judge especially if we've never walk in the same shoes. I never knew how it is to loose sum1 close to me(a loved one) until it happened to me. I use to assume that I understood & felt other people's pain of loss through death but I was liying myself. As soon as it happened to me I felt how it really is and as a result I am able to help comfort those who are going through the same experience without judging them. There has been a lot of experiences in my life that has thought me to spread the love of God, symphatise with those who are in pain & celebrate with others when they do. May the Lord help us, so we know that we are not just here on earth for ourselves but to shine His light so that those in the world can see Jesus in us. Thank you Pastor for your ministry. I love you alwayz!
S
Sis. Mimi
Pastor Anita, please be careful how much of your story you share here, from my experience of CE. It was said to me once, in fact whispered into my ear, by a Deaconess, that if any one spoke badly about MOG they would know the pain of cancer. To me these words were a threat and witchcraft.... And I prepared to leave that place as soon as I could.
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Disciple
"Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I SAT WHERE THEY SAT, and remained there ASTONISHED among them seven days."-(Ezekiel 3:15). If only we knew,..some of the people that we point fingers at, have walked in shoes,..whose size is far much bigger than we could ever imagine,..that if those shoes were to be given to us,...we won't take ONE STEP. This is the place where we acknowledge we are limited humans,..and there are things that only the limitless God can have a say on. Thankyou P.A
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Frau Glauben
Wow! Pastor that is very deep. As you have said, we have to listen with empathy to people. Someone said that listening to people is giving them that attention to understand what they are saying, without mentally preparing arguments to counter what they are saying. Unfortunately, that is how a lot of us "listen". We listen to just enough and while the person is expressing their deep feelings, we are planning in our minds how to persuade them to conform to our standard. Although we may mean well, we have to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us on how to respond to the person in love. Especially when the person is inclined to do something terrible to themselves such as committing suicide. It is a spiritual problem and such persons need professional help too from persons who are trained to work with such sensitive persons. We should not assume that just because we don't feel what the person is feeling we can talk them out of it by judging them & telling them they are wrong. The news is, they already know that! But to them, they are in "escape"-mode. They see it as a necessary escape to a worse evil that they believe they are unable to cope with. Peoples level of sensitivity and personal experiences differ, and because we do not have all the information, we should not be quick to judge. This will only inflict more pain and make the situation worse. It's hard to believe that we do not know it all, but we really do not know it all!! Many ladies know that even the most beautiful looking shoes can be sooo uncomfortable and even painful to wear. So just because we see someone with bad shoes or beautiful shoes may not mean they are not in pain- there might be an "in-soul" problem. Jesus was described as very sensitive to people. He never told Peter off for denying him. In Isaiah 42:3 it was said about Jesus, ""A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;". He is tender and encouraging and a loving shepherd who even shields us from harm. He protects us from wicked and judgmental words as Job 5V21(a) says, "You will be protected from the lash of the tongue..." Let us be compassionate and patient with others because we also need others to be kind to us.
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Patsy
Hello Pastor Anita, I have been following your posts and can sympathise with much that is written. I think it would be good for you to openly give your full account of what happened. It would go far in helping to open the eyes of those who are still being deceived. Let's hear your side of the story properly now.
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Fionna
I had to share this because, there's just too many people judging out there without even hearing how much listening , the ones who finally hear are just so quick to give advices without listening... Everyone is coming from somewhere, and only that one knows how it hurts... Sometimes all we need is someone who can understand... Thank you for this piece, it's too much
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Edidiong
This write up hits true to home. Everyone fights a hidden battle at some point in their lives, we should really be more sympathetic to each other as we wear this cloak of humanity. Thank you Pastor.
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Jennifer
I have no doubt Pastor Anita, that you are filled with the Spirit of God and follow his guiding as much as possible. Once again i am blessed by this write up and some of the comments made by people on this write up. I just want to say Thank u and keep on using your gift to bless, impact and make your world and ours a happier place. You are Blessed.
M
Man of God
I loved this one Pastor Anita.Its only when you put on someones" shoes that you begin to understand,appreciate and respect others rather than immaturely judging and deamining other people's experiences.God bless you Pastor Anita.
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Rachel
Wise words indeed. Empathy is rare, everyone is always looking for who to blame, take sides ,very judgmental etc but love looks beyond.our Lord is also the God of our struggles- the God of Jacob. Thanks for this wonderful article. Always simple and straight to the point. You are already blessed of the Lord ma and I love you dearly.
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Bunmi Kuye
Wow! Am so touch by your write up, and the word empathy is what we need most in the world that we are today. God bless you so much.
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Kristen
My Thought exactly.... Thank you Pastor Anita!!!
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Gloria
Thank you Pastor Anita for this beautiful soul-stirring piece. It is human tendency to judge and cast aspersions. Jesus showed us a more excellent way- remove the log in your own eyes first". The log blinds us to seeing the real thing and causes us to be parochial. It takes the Holy Spirit to have and show true empathy. He sheds the love of God abroad in our hearts. May the Lord help us all. Amen
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Hadiza
Thank you, empathy says it all
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Vimbayi
Pastor Anita thank you for shedding the light in my situation.
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Norah Hombarume
Thank you pastor Anita, you're a blessing. I wish I could meet you in person.
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Evans
Wow! These articles are so inspiring, energizing & nourishing.
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Saint Ken
Don't let the wind stop your journey.
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Stephanie
Nice one pastor, keep it coming!!!