°When I answered the first letter that Ofelia sent me in which she presented her problems and difficulties, I never imagined this might lead to a correspondence that would go on for close to six years. Nor did I imagine that it would offer me the opportunity of walking alongside a person through so many diverse experiences filled with conflict and pain."
In this collection of letters between a troubled woman and her pastor, Ofelia Camacho de Martínez articulates her pain and distress to Pastor Jorge Edmundo Ramírez who responds using the tools of empathetic listening to support and encourage her. These tools form the foundation of his model of pastoral accompaniment which he has developed to deal with the emotional and spiritual needs of a person. The book was born in a Latin American context and was originally published in Spanish under the title, Con Ofelia en el camino: Un modelo de acompañamiento pastoral.
James Edson Harris has translated and edited the book and given it the title, Walking with Ofelia: An Invitation to Listen. Harris believes all Christians, not just clergy, can use the tools of empathetic listening as they attempt to accompany those in trouble, and he has invited us all to do so. Harris is also concerned over the polarized nature of our private and public discourse and adds a final chapter in which he explains how the tools of empathetic listening can be used in conversation with people who hold views different from our own.