Thoughts and prayers

They matter, too

A dear friend sent me a message the other day. We chatted. And she signed off by telling me that she prays for me daily. 

What a gift. 

Prayers, along with their sisters, Thoughts, are getting a lot grief these days. When something horrible happens, everyone from politicians to social media aficionados will respond with “Thoughts and prayers.”

It’s understandable that these words seem hollow, not enough to answer the enormity of whatever horrible thing just made headlines. Action is what is needed, we exclaim. Not thoughts and prayers!

Perhaps it would be better if we exclaimed, not JUST thoughts and prayers.

I am a pretty big fan of prayers. I’ve felt them, learned of them and heard them.

I’ve mentioned before that at our meals, my Haitian family takes turns saying Grace. This remains one of my favorite moments in any given day. I’m curious what will be shared with God. Sometimes my own prayers take me by delight. 

My favorite lately still is the time Garry prayed, after a period of criminal activity along the streets of Haiti, “Bless the police, and bless the bandits. Because, well, (pause)  you know, God.”

We pray for each member of our household, all our families, everyone in hospital or in prison, and their families. We give thanks for what we have. And we always remember to ask God to help understand that not everyone is as fortunate.

Each of us can do something to make the world better for our neighbors. And when we love our neighbors, as Jesus commanded, we must.

But there always is room for thoughts and prayers. When someone says, “I prayed for you,” what I hear is, “I remember you.” Gently, intentionally, kindly remembered.

I cannot think of a more sincere gift.

I remember you.