Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Beyond thoughts & prayers August 7, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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My husband’s hands clasped in prayer. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


TIME AND TIME AGAIN, after a tragedy like the recent mass shootings in El Paso and in Dayton, we hear politicians and others say, “Our thoughts and prayers are with…”

Now, if you’ve followed me long enough, you realize that I am a woman of faith and that I believe in the power of prayer. I also believe in the comfort of words like, “Our thoughts and prayers are with…”


Chocolate chunk cookies made especially for me during my recovery last summer from a broken wrist. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2018.


But we need to dig deeper into our toolboxes of compassion. We need to grab tools that allow us to show our compassion. Beyond thoughts and prayers. That action focuses a blog post I wrote for Warner Press and which published on Tuesday. Rather than repeat my post, I direct you to read the piece I penned for this Christian publishing company by clicking here. Full disclosure: I am paid for my posts and for my job as blog coordinator at Warner Press.

We can all learn from each other as we strive to be there for one another. And now, more than ever, we must do exactly that. Be there. Listening. Praying. Actively helping.

TELL ME: How do you help others during challenging times? Please share here and/or on the Warner Press blog. And thank you.

Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


18 Responses to “Beyond thoughts & prayers”

  1. Claudette Says:

    I think for some of us the words ‘thoughts and prayers’ has lost some of their original meaning, or intent. But some people, one of my closest friends I’ve known in high school for example, or you, are deeply religious and hold on to the words’ meaning. My friend would, for example, put into practice these words if she were to speak them. She prays regularly and would honour that statement.

    My problem is when I hear the expression spoken (shared) by politicians and others in such a way that appears more like a knee jerk reaction (like, an automatic response just to be seen or heard to say something), it loses its original intent. People, and victims, look to them for answers, solutions, and all they get is this repeated statement that doesn’t help them in their grief and frustration.

    I don’t know what the answers are… but your post is very eloquent and lovely.

    • I graciously accept your praise for my post. And I deeply appreciate your comment. I agree that the words “thoughts and prayers” are often simply spoken, rolling off the tongue with no thought or meaning or action behind them. I agree that those words are often only a knee jerk reaction. That doesn’t diminish the importance of thoughts and prayers, though. And, as you and I say, we need more.

  2. Kiandra Judge Says:

    I appreciate both of your blogs, especially the part of just listening and not comparing. It’s a simple but powerful way to be supportive.
    Another way that I try to help during these horrible tragedies like El Paso and Dayton or a flood or tornado,
    is to contribute to the Lutheran Church Charities Comfort Dogs. They are trained dogs that go into places of recent tragedies and comfort those who’ve experienced the horrible events. I feel utterly helpless when I hear of yet another event that has shattered the lives of so many and this is a small way I can support those lives. The trainers and dogs are so gifted and such a blessing. Helps me to feel less helpless.

  3. For me I am an active member of my community and support my community in various ways through my work and personal life. Lending a helping hand, preparing meals, gathering to just sit and talk and take a much needed break, etc. Supporting the Veterans and the Small Business Owners. Being and doing my part to keep my community safe and clean, taking pride in owning a home and maintaining it, etc. The small and kind gestures can make a big impact on everyone. Thanks so much for sharing and letting people discuss today!

    • Renee, thank you for adding to the discussion, for all the good things you do in your community on a personal and broader level. You encourage all of us.

    • The radio show I listen to on the way into work did a pay it forward on Monday. They asked teachers to send in their wish lists and people were coming forward to purchase items. I am sure a good majority of people this weekend were getting ready for back to school as well as celebrating before heading back to school.

  4. Jackie Hemmer Says:

    For me it depends on proximity to some extent. For those in my community, I visit, make meals, or take them out for “coffee”. For those not so close it’s encouraging cards & emails, but for both whether near or far it’s always prayer, God hears our prayers no matter how far apart we are. ❤

  5. Gunny Says:

    Prayers and practicing your Christian beliefs. Prayers, Empathy and care to those afflicted in ways that can or may help. However, keep a clear head and do not let emotions rule one’s thinking. Be prepared. Bake that cake or cookies and keep a good First Aid Kit handy and take First Aid / CPS classes. Sometimes, the oddest thing helps those in need. I am part of a group who has an unlikely side mission of providing Teddy Bears to Law Enforcement for their use in comforting children they find in distress. I am also the Services officer of a local VFW Post providing helpful resources to those who served.

  6. Nice post, Audrey. Being there, emotionally as well as physically is SO important. Well said, Audrey. ❤ Nice post on Warner Press. Sigh… I guess I'm going to have to break down and join Facebook again. It wouldn't let me comment or join without going through FB.

  7. Gunny Says:

    Notice the Chocolate chip Cookies. These things go a long way to cure what ails you!

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