We can all learn from children’s empathy

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Everybody who’s been following the recent Supreme Court nominee controversy has some sort of opinion — even if it’s an unruffled “wait and see.” Further analysis is the last thing anyone wants to hear. So let’s forget that.

What I’d like to recall is an impromptu comment made by the court nominee regarding his 10-year-old daughter. He told the Senate Judiciary Committee she wanted her family — in what sounds like a bedtime tradition of offering prayers — to pray for the woman she knows is saying some seriously negative things about her dad.

Where does that kind of consideration for an unknown person who is going through her own trauma come from?

It’s obviously not coached. Nor is it a mockery.

It is the genuineness in her child’s heart piercing the rancor in this national debate. If I could imagine a thick clogging fog lit by a bright arrow of light this would be it.

Jesus has something very compelling to say about young ones. There is a biblical scene where parents are bringing their children to Him so that “He might lay His hands on them and pray.”

His inner circle of disciples acts like a Secret Service contingent, trying to keep them away. In their thinking Jesus can’t be bothered with kids. He has more pressing matters to occupy His attention.

They find out in a hurry they are dead wrong.

The story relates Jesus “became indignant” saying, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

He goes on to emphasize with a “Truly I say to you” — an indication of the importance of what He is about to impart — “whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

This declaration is packed with far more to explore than there is space on this page or in my head.

But one thing I can mine from it is Jesus holds high regard for childhood. Perhaps the innocence. Or the honesty and sincerity. Maybe the lack of condemnation. The easy forgiveness. The empathy children show. The trust they give. The way they unashamedly make you feel loved.

I think it’s worth noting in all the “adult” conversation saturating this Supreme Court strife that a young girl cared enough for someone on the “other side” of the issue affecting her family she wanted to give the gift of prayer.

How I would like to have listened in.

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