Chapter Sixteen: The Forgiveness of Illusions
II. True Empathy
5 True empathy is of Him Who knows what it is. You will learn His interpretation of it if you let Him use your capacity for strength and not for weakness. He will not desert you, but be sure that you desert not him. Humility is strength in this sense onlyto recognize and accept the fact that you do not know is to recognize and accept the fact that He does know. You are not sure that He will do His part because you have never yet done yours completely. You will not know how to respond to what you do not understand. Be tempted not in this, and yield not to the ego's triumphant use of empathy for its glory.
6 The triumph of weakness is not what you would offer to a brother. And yet you know no triumph but this. This is not knowledge, and the form of empathy that would bring this about is so distorted that it would imprison what it would release. The unredeemed cannot redeem, yet they have a Redeemer. Attempt to teach Him not. You are the learner; He the Teacher. Do not confuse your role with His, for this will never bring peace to anyone. Offer your empathy to Him, for it is His perception and His strength that you would share. And let Him offer you His strength and His perception to be shared through you.
7 The meaning of love is lost in any relationship which looks to weakness and hopes to find love there. The power of love, which is its meaning, lies in the strength of God, which hovers over it and blesses it silently by enveloping it in healing wings. Let this be, and do not try to substitute your "miracle" for this. We once said that if a brother asks a foolish thing of you, to do it. But be certain that this does not mean to do a foolish thing that would hurt either him or you, for what would hurt one will hurt the other. Foolish requests are foolish for the simple reason that they conflict because they contain an element of specialness. Only the Holy Spirit recognizes foolish needs as well as real ones. And He will teach you how to meet both without losing either.
8 You will attempt to do this only in secrecy. And you will think that, by meeting the needs of one, you do not jeopardize another because you keep them separate and secret from each other. That is not the way, for it leads not to light and truth. No needs will long be left unmet if you leave them all to Him Whose function is to meet them. That is His function and not yours. He will not meet them secretly, for He would share everything you give through Him. And that is why He gives it.
9 What you give through Him is for the whole Sonship, not for part of it. Leave Him His function, for He will fulfill it if you but ask Him to enter your relationships and bless them for you.