Grief, prayers, and policy can all work together beautifully. Let me explain.
I had the blessing of traveling to Lourdes a week ago. It has been a dream of mine for many years and I was very emotional and grateful that it finally came true. I lit candles and prayed for all of us. On the same day, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos shot and killed nineteen students and two teachers and wounded seventeen other people at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Like you, I've been plunged into deep grief and shock over this event. I feel the power of Bob Dylan's profound question: How many deaths will it take till we know that too many people have died?
But in the wake of the school shooting, I've noticed a disturbing trend in social media posts which denounce the value of "thoughts and prayers."
One of the biggest reasons the country (and in many ways, the world at large) is in the huge mess it is in is because of this kind of binary thinking.
This OR that.
Dark or light. Good or bad. Sacred or profane. Healed or broken.
What has served me most in my own life is moving away from this kind of polarity thinking and moving toward the idea of both/and.
It doesn't have to be policy OR prayers. It can be both.
In fact, policy informed by intention and right energy can achieve far more. Change inspired by prayer and sacred devotion can move mountains.
Just as we don't have to be completely healed to claim we're whole. Wholeness is about accepting that we simply need to love the wounded selves that live within us.
Any action imbued by the energy of divinity has far more power to heal, cure, bring together.
Thoughts and prayers AND policy and change. We can embrace all of it.