Better Days with Luke Smallbone
The inspiration of compassion and empathy behind the song, Relate
In the midst of the pandemic, Luke Smallbone recognized that, “Every single person is going through a very similar thing with insanely different circumstances.”
Since each person is unique in personality, experiences and situations, their responses vary as well. Living in the country offered Luke opportunities to go for walks and play with his kids, unlike others who were living in a small flat in New York City.
Luke listened to a sermon on the immense compassion of Jesus, whether He was healing a leper or feeding a crowd. Thinking about this, he was compelled to wonder what it means in our day and age to act like Jesus, since that’s what we are called to do as His followers. He wondered what it meant to have compassion for people and empathize with them.
“If you open up Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, we’re killing our own out there. There’s not a whole lot of compassion,” Luke comments. It breaks the Father’s heart to see, in some cases, that it’s inside the church. “The church is obviously made up of sick people. So that’s what we get.”
Luke grieved over the divisiveness and what people were saying to one another, like, “It’s idiotic that you would say X or Y,” just because you disagree.
Luke explains the idea for the song, Relate.
“Even if I haven’t walked in your shoes, I see the pain in your eyes. I can relate because I’ve got pain in my life.”
“You don’t have to walk through the same thing. I know what pain feels like, so I mourn with you. I grieve with you because it looks like you’ve gone through something really, really difficult.” In this way, you can relate to someone who you can see is struggling. You can let him know you’re with him.
Luke talks about “leaning in,” which is a posture that says you’re listening.
We are all humans even behind faceless social media comments.
At this point, Luke emphasizes that it’s hard to cast a stone, if you’re honestly saying you see the hurt.
It goes the other way too. If somebody is writing an angry post and it’s directed at you, you can actually tell them you’ve been in that place of hurt, and this must be coming from there. You have compassion and grace for them. You don’t want to revert to, “I’ll SHOW THEM in ninety words.” Luke warns that those are the times when you may not be clearly thinking through what you’re typing.
It’s important to recognize that the person who made you feel angry is a real person. God loves them too.
Luke sees that his job is to, “Prick the hearts of people because a song and melody make the medicine go down a little bit better.”
No, a song will not solve the problem, but Luke hopes people will hear it and, by the grace of God, see each other’s hearts. He’s hoping they’ll step back, calm the anger a bit and lean in to listen.
Maybe you can relate some to what another person is going through even though you haven’t walked their journey.
I don’t know what it’s like to be you.
You don’t know what it’s like to be me.
What if we’re all the same in different kinds of ways?
Can you, can you relate?
We both know what it’s like to bе hurt.
We both know what it’s like to feel pain.
But I think it’s safe to say wе’re on to better days.
Can you, can you relate?
Will you ask God to help you try?
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