Borrowed feelings are like borrowed clothing. I can slip out and out of them very easily. So I borrowed his feelings. I pretended for just one moment to feel as he felt. That way I could record it in my mental notebook as another good deed done.
This was a nice mental selfie of me standing next to a man who would just as soon remain unnoticed because he was used to being unacknowledged. Then once the pretend shutter of the camera in my mind had opened and closed, in an instant, I shed my pretense of empathy.
I wore this borrowed shirt, this sense of moral outrage and Christian compassion, just long enough to impress myself that I am a good person. Usually I rush pass these begging bums on the street, fearful that they will ask for the $5 I have in my pocket. I could easily give them $10 or even $20 without noticing it. But since they don’t give change, I won’t pull it out so I can give the single $1 I feel they deserve. After all they would waste that in a way worse than I would waste it on myself.
Wait a minute. I do have some coins in the bottom of my pocket. Ooppsss! He dropped some of them and the light has changed. Gotta go. Don’t hold up traffic.
I notice them, I just don’t acknowledge them. Borrowed feelings are easier than borrowed clothing to remove.
Proverbs 21:13 He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be answered.