It’s a sad truth that we can be pretty judgmental. I’m not talking about identifying sin as revealed in Scripture. I’m talking about motive. I’m talking about feelings and reacting to circumstances.
“If it was me…” and we go on to tell someone what they SHOULD have done, or how they SHOULD feel. But Job says walk in my shoes, then we’ll talk.
Since Geoff’s death, his mom has experienced this several times. One person even told her she knew how Peggy felt because “my dog died”. A counselor told Peggy she knew what Peggy felt because she almost lost her own daughter in an accident. Almost. Peggy was quick to tell this counselor (and I use this term loosely) that she had no idea as long as she could still hug her daughter.
We need to be careful not to assume we know what someone else is experiencing. Empathy can only go so far. I am not you. You are not me.
One mother, who had lost her own young son to cancer told Peggy… I don’t know how you feel. But I know how I felt and still feel and it hurts. I’m here if you need me and I’m praying for you.
I think that’s the best counsel of all.