My Heart is With You

What to say instead of “I’ll pray for you.”

We non-religious have a problem. How to express sympathy and empathy without resorting to religious language.  We have this problem when someone sneezes and also when someone experiences a loss or something tragic happens.

Our problem is we want to let the person know we care about them and are wishing them well, without resorting to the standard, I’ll pray for you.  Why? Because not only do we not pray, we are also of the opinion that praying accomplishes nothing, except makes the person praying feel like they have done something constructive when they really haven’t.

So what can we say instead? I have two things I say.

The first is – My thoughts are with you. Because they are. If someone I love is experiencing something bad. I worry about them. I may not be in a position to do something constructive to help them, but that doesn't mean I’m not worried and hoping for the best, because I am. So, I’m thinking of them and/or my thoughts are with them seems like a perfectly rational thing to say – and it’s true.

The 2nd thing I sometimes say is “My heart is with you.”  Because that’s it isn't it.  It’s not just my thoughts. It’s my heart too. My heart aches and I really wish I could do something to help.

What do you say instead of “I’ll pray for you?”

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