Empathy: Your pain in my heart.
One night while conducting an evangelistic meeting in the Salvation Army Citadel in
Chicago, Booth Tucker preached on the sympathy of Jesus. After his message a man
approached him and said, "If your wife had just died, like mine has, and your babies
were crying for their mother, who would never come back, you wouldn't be saying what
you're saying." Tragically, a few days later, Tucker's wife was killed in a train
wreck. Her body was brought to Chicago and carried to the same Citadel for the funeral.
After the service the bereaved preacher looked down into the silent face of his wife and
then turned to those attending. "The other day a man told me I wouldn't speak of the
sympathy of Jesus if my wife had just died. If that man is here, I want to tell him that
Christ is sufficient. My heart is broken, but it has a song put there by Jesus. I want
that man to know that Jesus Christ speaks comfort to me today."
Today in the Word, MBI, October, 1991, p. 10.
British statesman and financier Cecil Rhodes, whose fortune was used to endow the
world-famous Rhodes Scholarships, was a stickler for correct dress--but apparently not at
the expense of someone else's feelings. A young man invited to dine with Rhodes arrived by
train and had to go directly to Rhodes's home in his travel-stained clothes. Once there he
was appalled to find the other guests already assembled, wearing full evening dress. After
what seemed a long time Rhodes appeared, in a shabby old blue suit. Later the young man
learned that his host had been dressed in evening clothes, but put on the old suit when he
heard of his young guest's dilemma.
Today in the Word, February, 1991, p. 10.
In 1886, Karl Benz drove his first automobile through the streets of Munich, Germany.
He named his car the Mercedes Benz, after his daughter, Mercedes. The machine angered the
citizens, because it was noisy and scared the children and horses. Pressured by the
citizens, the local officials immediately established a speed limit for "horseless
carriages" of 3.5 miles an hour in the city limits and 7 miles an hour outside. Benz
knew he could never develop a market for his car and compete against horses if he had to
creep along at those speeds, so he invited the mayor of the town for a ride. The mayor
accepted. Benz then arranged for a milkman to park his horse and wagon on a certain street
and, as Benz and the mayor drove by, to whip up his old horse and pass them--and as he did
so to give the German equivalent of the Bronx cheer. The plan worked. The mayor was
furious and demanded that Benz overtake the milk wagon. Benz apologized but said that
because of the ridiculous speed law he was not permitted to go any faster. Very soon after
that the law was changed.
Bits & Pieces, April 1990, p. 2.