I see them . no damn Einfuhlung ! I feel them .. I feel all of them , lined up over the year. All those patients who I bent over like a cook over a pot. “Oh dear you feel so hot, can you smell this/ can you taste this ? No worries my dear.. this will pass” “a little of this , a little of that”
And then like a pot unattended over fire. Something is not right.Smoke fills the air with screams “He’s not breathing, he can’t breath … “ This will pass. “He passed, I’m sorry “ We type “patient deceased” and go to lunch. But yet another patient arises in my mind and I feel them as I take my own temperature .. .
Oh sweet heat of the soul , you burn an empathy in my being….. Einfuhlung, Einfuhlung , the fire has melted my stone cold heart.
My heart ,little stone, presses against Jesus’s plump and pulsating heart. Like Elisha on the boy , he spreads over me. “When you get up oh Lord .. when you rise up ,I will live. But stay for now , press your heart to mine, create in me a new heart oh Jesus. . I feel them now , all of them , how they suffered and burned within, how they said “I can’t breathe am I okay” “ oh you are fine” I would say “ am I really ? “ they would ask .
. I see them now with fires around and the green of hope gone. I see lines and tubes as embers settle over the land . They are the ones , the soldier heroes , the brave men who fought to breathe. I see with my heart next to yours.
I feel my breath which I cannot hear . But theirs I once heard rattle and gasp .. O Lord now , oh now I know their pain . Though in my bed I look from time past to time to come , I feel so far. But I am not so far as I once was . I am in your heart . And your heart is blanketing them.
When you lift your body from me oh Jesus , leave me your heart. Let me come out caring again, come out believing again, Let me arise alive feeling your healing on them.
“And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto Jehovah. And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon him; and the flesh of the child waxed warm. Then he returned, and walked in the house once to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.”
2 Kings 4:32-35 ASV
“Einfuhlung,” a German word from which comes the English word empathy. Meaning “feeling in” It draws from the Greek “em”for “in” and pathos” for “feeling” .
Both the nurse and the patient and all outcomes of health are hindered when the nurse “lacks empathy” . But, in war like times ,we find empathy scarce and we learn it cannot be bought or taught. We who seek find , it is given. And it is perpetually given by the Lord who says.“And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh;”
Ezekiel 11:19 ASV