jill hallstrom

This one goes out to everyone who rolls their eyes and/or fills with rage when Christians or casual theists respond to tragedy with “Prayers!”

“Prayers!” has become so commonplace and so trite that it applies as readily to a dead goldfish as a mass shooting. At best, it provides the comfort of knowing someone out there has just enough emotional energy to type eight characters in response to your unimaginable pain. At worst, it evokes the crushing isolation of knowing that someone out there knows your pain and has decided to loft a prayer skyward in lieu of, say, picking up the phone, dropping by with a meal, scheduling a visit, sending flowers, making a financial gift, writing a personal message, asking how they can come alongside you, acknowledging the tragic nature of the situation, or even just saying, “I’m sorry. This sucks. I love you.”

If your go-to…

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