Today, I realized that I tend to forget what it's like to try and think like someone else, especially someone from completely different walks of life.
My friend and I were talking the other day, and he brought up some of his deep, personal issues. To be honest, I wasn't entirely prepared for him to open up to me. We're not childhood friends or anything. It was kind of a get-to-know-you-better thing. So, at least to me, it felt like odd timing for a discussion of this gravity to take place.
He told me about his quarreling family and about some of the mistakes he'd made in the past. He's not had the greatest life. And then he asked me if I went to church. I nodded, and offered to tell him about where I went. But he quickly stopped me, and lowering his head he muttered:
"If you don't mind, could you...could you pray for me?"
I told him I would, but he didn't realize that his words had really sunk in. I've always thought of prayer as something anyone can choose to do. Just because I go to church doesn't mean I have better reception with God or anything. I'm no one special, just an ordinary guy.
Often, we throw around the phrase "Walk a mile in their shoes." without even considering the meaning of those words. For such a common expression, it's difficult to truly achieve, and at times, I believe it can be impossible.
I may never fully grasp what my friend has gone through or where he's coming from. Truthfully, I hope I never do. But, I can pray for him, and I can do what not many people in his life have done. I can genuinely try to understand.