Sunday, November 5, 2017

I've been thinking about you

I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormons. When possible on Sundays, I discuss some things related to my faith and what I believe. With respect to your own beliefs, I hope this gives you a chance to get to know me and my religion a little better. For previous installments, click here.

With so much tragedy in the world today, both man-made and acts of God, it's hard to know what you can do to help or change anything. When big tragedies happen, there are frequently opportunities to help by donating time or money to the cause. But, sometimes, because you are nowhere near the tragedy and those affected or don't the time or money to help, the most you can do is offer "thoughts and prayers". Unfortunately, saying "my thoughts and prayers are with you" has become somewhat of a joke, if not entirely misunderstood. Those who don't understand "thoughts and prayers" can be frustrated by its seeming lack of conviction and it can be confused for not doing anything at all. I would like to offer that it is actually doing a lot of good and explain why.

As a religious person who prays as well as donates both time and money charitably, people shouldn't presume we only rely on "thoughts and prayers" to fix what is wrong in the world. Conversely, those of us who pray should not assume those who more visibly contribute time and money don't also meditate or practice some form of mindfulness. Trying to prove who makes more of a contribution to the world is, however, ridiculous. Even though some people can't see a tangible benefit to "thoughts and prayers" doesn't mean those of us who offer them don't. 

Most importantly, "thoughts and prayers" can help give us direction on who to help and how. It's those same thoughts and prayers and mindfulness that help people think of someone to send an applicable job posting to or a funny meme based on something they like.  It's the friends who ask if I need dog food at Costco when they go because I don't have a car and that's a tricky errand on the train. If they never think and/or pray about me, they wouldn't necessarily be inspired to do those things. I personally find it most helpful to pray and do something tangible. With limited time and resources and, therefore, the inability to help everyone, having some guidance on where and how we can help us feel good about what we can actually contribute and that we've made a difference to someone.

Recently, I experienced a medical emergency while Blake was away on assignment. As someone who received promises of thoughts and prayers during that time, I can tell you that at the very least, I appreciated being thought of and that people were taking time out of their days even just to send me a text to ask how I was. It helped me know who I could call when I did need something, especially before Blake was able to come home. I also appreciated people who brought us meals, drove me to the doctor, and the people who stayed with me in the hospital or at home. It was all at least some contribution to my emotional and physical well-being and I'm grateful for it all.

(And now, since you're probably wondering, I'm recovered and Blake got home soon afterwards.)

At least to me, thoughts and prayers are actually a good and meaningful offering, especially backed up with actions, however small they may be
Also helpful? Cute puppies to snuggle when you're home resting.

I spent time at a friend's house on main base in between doctor's appointments one day. They weren't home and Blake was running errands, but Yuri was on duty.

Apparently Yuri isn't usually a snuggler, so his attention was especially sweet.

1 comment:

Giggles said...

It definitely makes a difference to me when I know people are praying for me. When we were in the thick of infertility and were waiting to see if Iddo would be coming I remember praying so hard for all the people who were praying for us that their faith wouldn't be shaken if the outcome wasn't good. It was an interesting turn of prayer.