An Empathic Church

The most profound thought from yesterday’s classes was this from Thomas Oden: Empathy is the capacity to use one’s imaginative faculties to enter into the world of another.

Corporate empathy, on the side of the Church, may just be the credible factor in our ongoing re-entrance into the cultural discussions of our generation.

Empathy steps into one’s hell, identifies, then leads one out (one foot in, one foot out).

Extraction throws a rescue line, screams in savior language, and seeks to drag one out (both feet out).

The most effective empathy puts one foot in the world of another, and keeps one foot in our own world.

Like a quicksand rescue, the person in crisis would be quite happy for you not to enter fully into their world.

We step in, support and lead one into another realm. I.e. We start where another is at; not where we are.


Sheltering Mercy and Endless Grace help us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation. Sheltering Mercy helps the reader pray Psalms 1-75; Endless Grace leads in prayer through Psalms 76-150.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. Each book contains 75 prayers drawn from the Book of Psalms, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning there. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

These artful, poetic, and classic devotional books are a perfect gift, and feature compelling stunning illustrations and hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms. Co-written with Ryan Whitaker Smith, Brazos Publishing.

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