I’ve seen it over and over again today:
Thoughts and Prayers followed by a variation of policy change or cultural change.
Or even more alarming–just this:
Thoughts and prayers.
I’ve heard that “thoughts and prayers” are a cop-out. Slacktivism. Turning a blind eye to needed change. Callous.
Could this be true for some of the people saying “thoughts and prayers?” Of course! But I don’t believe that’s what most of us are saying.
When we say “our thoughts and prayers are with you” we mean:
I’m so sorry for your great loss and pain.
I am hurting because you are hurting.
You may be too far away for me to hug and help, but I want to hug and help you. I’m asking for help from someone who isn’t bound my limitations: God.
I’m looking for ways to help.
I am grieving. I am talking through that grief with my Heavenly Father–who loves each person in every tragedy perfectly.
How can I help you? I might not know without you telling me, but I am willing and wanting to help.
I want to make a difference, but I don’t know how. So I’m praying for wisdom from One who knows all things.
I want you to have peace and healing.
I love you.
Prayers and thoughts are NOT inaction. They are not passive. They are something that people can give no matter their race, religion, politics, and location. Remember the idea that your thoughts become who you are? Thoughts and prayers are the seeds of great work. The world needs MORE empathy and love and patience and wisdom.
Anger is a natural part of the grieving process, but since we DO need policy and cultural change we need to not be making changes in anger. Who thinks rationally when they are angry?? We need to cling to prayer and compassion, not abandon them. Prayer opens up Heaven’s blessings and will help us make rational, humane change.
I’ve read the same articles as the rest of you about talking with our children about tragedies throughout the world. Do you know what all the experts recommend? Love. Empathy. Sharing our feelings. Finding quiet space and exercising self-care. Kinda sounds like thoughts and prayers to me!
Thoughts and prayers aren’t the only necessary responses, but they are an essential part of the equation that we cannot afford to neglect, or even worse, disregard.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Florida, the United States, the World. We pray that we will have the wisdom to be better and to change the world for the better.
Thoughts and prayers +