Let’s Make “Thoughts and Prayers” A Call to Action
by jane arie baldwin
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. – James 2:14-17
You know the image. A soldier, in the foxhole, at the edge of the battle. Destruction is all around. Worn-down and haggard from months of fighting, he grasps the locket around his neck. He seems to be praying, offering thoughts and prayers to the existence of God, home, and country. Then he let’s go of the locket, with renewed strength, he jumps out of the foxhole into battle.
Every call to action is a battle. Whatever the cause. Whether it’s standing up for gun control, bringing awareness to mental health issues, fighting for veteran’s rights, or ending world hunger. It is the action that is important.
It’s easy to confuse non-violence with inaction. Thoughts and prayers are not inactions. It just takes more than that. Mohandas Gandhi led an entire independence movement with shaking speeches that motivated millions, a hunger strike, and consistent thoughts and prayers.
Meditation is another word for the phrase, thoughts, and prayers. Focusing one’s mind in silence is done in both cases as a method of finding peace. Meditation, like thoughts and prayers, is often seen as a spiritual endeavor. For the place of solace is considered to be in the realm of spirit.
Thoughts and prayers, meditation. These practices buoy the resolve it takes to fight the battle. There is a natural balance between the inaction of quiet, focused solace and actively fighting to protect our core beliefs. The higher power that lives within us, God – if you will, is not separate from our core beliefs. It is our core beliefs.
Can we please stop imagining that God is outside of us? Please!
An anthropomorphized man/woman, god/goddess, Justice League that’s going to save us. It is us – the highest expression of our most profound beliefs. Not the ego-driven, “King of the world,” us.
We love thoughts and prayers because we feel the love, hope, and faith in the stillness. Those feelings light up our soul. They remind us who we are, powerful beyond measure.
Some kind of action is always required for us to experience God’s presence. Thinking, praying, and meditating are actions that reinforce community oneness. That’s why we push the buttons to like and share them.
To make the changes we want we have to stand in the faith that oneness already exists. And then fight like hell to create the existence we want to see in the world in which we live.