(210) 558.5917 jharris@gracepoint.org

An Open Letter to “Thoughts and Prayers”

Thoughts and Prayers-2

Dear Thoughts and Prayers,

Thank you for being sent from all over by way of Facebook, Twitter, and newscasts. I appreciate you, but if I’m being honest, the comfort that you once might have brought doesn’t really do it for me anymore. Thoughts that don’t lead to action are sympathetic but don’t provide the justice my heart needs in the face of racism and violence. Prayers offered to move God’s heart are prayers that also move my heart and, again, lead to substantive change.

Lord knows I long to see His presence manifested in our courts and in our Congress. While I know some people actually do pray when they say “thoughts and prayers,” I have a sneaking suspicion that if that much actual praying were happening, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in.

Thoughts and Prayers, I’d also like to take this time to let you know that, while you seem to be everywhere, I honestly need more. You were sent to Beaumont and Houston. But, when real people showed up to muck out the houses and real people cut out the sheet rock and real people provided and shared a meal, that’s when I really felt love. That’s when I really felt God’s presence.

And Thoughts, I don’t understand why you travel with prayers all the time because, honestly, when I see you on Facebook, you often seem to be totally contrary to Prayers. How do you guys go everywhere together when you are so far apart?

Prayers, how is it that you have so little impact on Thoughts? If you guys are always proceeding from the mouths of our politicians and leaders, wouldn’t you then become action? Wouldn’t you then become legislation? Dear Prayers, can you please have some influence on your friend Thoughts! I really believe you should have some effect on him.

Finally, Thoughts and Prayers, I’d like to let you know that, though you’ve often been sent, my experience leads me to believe you either haven’t really been sent or you were sent impersonally and casually at best.

In the future, I’m going to rely on actions and outcomes to validate you. Every relationship needs boundaries, and while I appreciate you very much on one level, I’ve come to learn the substance behind you is often misleading. So for now, I think it would be best if we just parted as friends.