On thoughts and prayers

In the midst of tragedy, some look up to God because everything around them seems full of misery and heartbreak. Others meet the offering of thoughts and prayers with derision, because they too see the pain in the world and do not believe that prayer can do anything to fix what has been broken.

What I want to offer is this:

When I tell you that my thoughts and prayers are with you...

I am praying for you. Praying that God will bring you healing. Praying that God will hold you close and fill your heart with love even as the burdens you carry seem to leave you empty. I am praying these things because I know that God is a source of healing, and I believe in His ability to put back the pieces of this broken world even after someone has so horrendously broken His commandments. 

I am thinking of you. Meditating on your loss, empathizing with your suffering, asking God what can be done, listening to my heart and to His voice so that I can better understand what must be done moving forward. So I can better understand this world's needs and how I can play a part in addressing them. 

I am praying for me, that I have the strength to stand up for love, to stand up for justice, to stand up for others who may not be able to stand for themselves. I am praying for you, that God might give you the strength to carry on though your burdens are heavy, that you will persevere and find yourself stronger on the other side, that you will be a light to those around you and that others will lift you up.

My thoughts and prayers are not meaningless scribbles on a piece of paper. I do not offer them with idle breath. I believe in a God who is powerful enough to heal the most broken parts of this world. I believe in Him because I have felt His power in my life; it has given me strength when I was weak, has lifted me up from the deepest sorrows, helped me be a light when I could barely find the strength to smile. 

Whether or not you believe in the God of miracles, I know He will answer my prayers. I know He will guide my thoughts and teach me how to do better as I continue living in this world we are called to serve. This is not meaningless. This is not a way to hide behind words and pretend that everything will be ok. 

You maybe believe that thoughts and prayers are meaningless, but I beg you to reconsider your opinion of those who offer them. Because like many people with deep faith, this is me taking space to grieve, to pray, to meditate, so that when the grieving is over, the work may be done, the world can heal and I can love it better.


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