I have mixed feelings about the phrase “our thoughts and prayers are with you.”
On one hand, it is the appropriate response when someone you know is going through a tough time. A disease, the death of a loved one, loss of a job, etc. Sometimes, just knowing that someone else sympathizes and is praying for you helps lift spirits and makes you feel the burden a little less.
Sometimes, it’s the only thing that speaker can do. Maybe you live half way across the country, so they can’t stop in with a hot casserole and a shoulder to cry on. Maybe they’re too far away to drop by for coffee and help you full out job applications or run you to doctors appointments,etc. But they want to, because that’s how friends and family members support one another in tough times.
So they seen thoughts and prayers.
I get that… I’ve done it myself.
BUT… And here’s where my mixed thoughts come from…
Those same ‘thoughts and prayers’ sound hollow when coming from the mouths of our politicians.
But Debbie, you might say, they don’t live near by, they aren’t your friends. You just said this was the correct response.
In some cases, yes, I did. But I also said it was appropriate when that was all they could.
Friends, our politicians. Our Senators and Representatives, our Judges and President all have the means and opportunity to do more than send “thoughts and prayers.”
They can send money, aide for relief efforts… And they can changes laws to make things better. Or at least try to.
From what I’ve seen over the last decade? Is that very few of them want to. They just want to pay lip service.
Send thoughts and prayers over social media and television to make themselves look sympathetic to the tragedy but don’t send actions.
They hide behind amendments and even the Bible.
Jesus would want them to pray, right?
But Jesus would also want them to get off their asses and protect the people they were elected to serve.
Jesus would want them to give the money away, ignore the lobbyists and do what’s best to end the suffering.
I’m not saying I know what that is. What’s best is a relative and highly interpretive term.
What I am saying is that hiding behind ‘thoughts and prayers’ is not what’s best for anyone.