Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm not the Praying Type

Let this not be misunderstood as a call for help or religious intervention. I'm still not a believer, nor do I want to be. It's just my own meandering thoughts about how old habits stick around and random musings on what an agnostic or atheist should respond to prayer requests.

Click here for a refresher on my (lack of) religious views, or click the Religion tag for even more information on how I see the world.

I'm not the praying type, but sometimes I find myself wishing that I was, if only to have some kind of phrase that conveys the fact that I will keep someone in my thoughts without sounding all hippie-ish.

There's just no good response when someone is asking you to pray for them. You can't very well say "no," or at least I can't say no, and if someone is asking for prayers then it's probably not the best time to engage them in a debate about religion. I can't imagine that would go over well.

"My friend/neighbor/bus driver is sick. Please pray for them."
"Sorry, no can do. My door doesn't swing that way."

So what's the alternative for the non-religious among us? Just nod and smile sympathetically? Telling someone that I'll keep them in my thoughts sounds good on paper, but when it comes down to it, what does it really mean? That I'll think about you? And what good is that going to do anyone? "Sending happy thoughts" just sounds too tree-hugger and conjures up mental imagery of someone shooting rainbows out of their ass directed at a particular person or instance.

Still, sometimes I find myself mumbling thoughts/prayers/wishes in my head unconsciously, as if I want to be talking to someone but not exactly sure what's on the other end. Is thinking to myself "Please let so-and-so be ok" or "Please let Charlie sleep for 5 more minutes" an actual wish to the universe somehow, or is it just a relic of my days as a catholic? Do I really think I'm talking to something? Or is it just comforting to say things like that in my own head?

On a related note, my dear friend Kate, who I've known since I was 13, is pregnant with twin girls and having complications. They're planning to induce her next week, at the 34 week mark. Please keep her in your thoughts/pray for her/direct rainbows to shoot out of your orifices/whatever floats your boat. She and her husband would obviously love to let them bake longer and avoid time in the NICU, but that may not be possible.

1 comment:

  1. LOL, I so know what you mean! And what about the ever-popular "sending good vibes" instead of praying...that always makes me think of The Beach Boys. I have the same types of thoughts and even though it sounds totally-hippy-ish, I usually feel like I'm "praying" to "The Universe" or something like that (gosh that sounds stupid).
    Sorry to hear about Kate's complications, I hope everything goes O.K.



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