A Mile In Their Shoes

13 Egypt was the father of the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites, 14 Pathrusites, Kasluhites (from whom the Philistines came) and Caphtorites.

15 Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn, and of the Hittites, 16 Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, 17 Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, 18 Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites.

Later the Canaanite clans scattered 19 and the borders of Canaan reached from Sidon toward Gerar as far as Gaza, and then toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, as far as Lasha. Genesis 10:13-18

Recall in the last chapter, the Lord cursed Canaan and his people. Where were two of the Canaanite borders? Sodom and Gomorrah. We all know the “rest of the story” with Sodom and Gomorrah, but that was later. Which came first, the accursed Canaan or Sodom and Gomorrah? How much influence did Sodom and Gomorrah have on Canaan?

I suppose it isn’t easy having an accursed moniker hanging over your life. Still, though, Canaan seemed to have an abundant family. It’s easy to look at someone like Canaan and see that he has it all together and is blessed by God. But we don’t know Canaan and what he had to endure because of the curse. We don’t know what that meant to him as he led his family. In other words, we haven’t nor can we ever walk a mile in his shoes.

That obviously can be said about anybody in life. We really don’t know them. We can know many things but we don’t know what they’re thinking and feeling. We don’t know the despair or joys they experience. We don’t know the extent of their anger or bitterness, nor do we know what kind of peace they enjoy.

We shake our heads at some of the people we encounter: friends, family, strangers. We see just a bit of who they are and what they do. We judge them but don’t know their full story. Can we? Probably not, but we can certainly pray for them.

Like today, I saw the results of an accident near my apartment. Two drivers will be emotionally scarred for a long time based on the damage done to their cars. I was in an accident like that 15 years ago and remember it like it was yesterday. I know what those people are thinking and feeling. I can empathize with them and pray for their peace as well as their health. I don’t know much more than that but what I do know I can use as fuel for prayer.

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