opinion | I don’t want to see a high school football coach praying at the 50 yard line

It’s miserable to be a hater. I pray to become more like Jesus with his mad compassion and reckless love. Some days go better than others. I pray to remember that God loves Marjorie Taylor Greene the same way God loves my grandson, because God loves, period. God doesn’t have an app for Not Love. God sees beyond the awfulness of each person to the needs of each person. God loves them as they are. God is better than me at that.

I pick up one of my adult Sunday school children who is in intensive care with anorexia. I beg God to intervene and she does by finding a great nurse for my girl later that day. (Nurses are God’s answer 35 percent of the time). My prayer says to everyone who’s listening, “I care for her and I have no idea what to do except hold her in my heart and give her something that might be better than me.” And I hear, what to do next – make her one of my world famous grooming kits – overpriced socks, a journal and of course communion items tailored just for her: almonds and sugar free gum. It’s love in wrapping paper.

Especially when I travel I speak to so many people who are devastated by all the misery in the world and there is nothing I can do for them except listen, show compassion and pray. I can’t reverse politics, war, or climate, but by listening, by opening my heart to someone in trouble, I create more love with them and less of a grippy spasm in our little corner of the universe.

When I go on stage for a talk or an interview, I pray to say words that will help those in the audience who are feeling the most down. When I had the privilege of interviewing Hillary Clinton in Seattle a few years ago, we prayed this prayer in a backstage corner — to bring hope to the hopeless.

Do I honestly think this type of prayer was answered and helpful?


On a good day, I feel (a little) more neutral about Ginni Thomas and the high school coach praying after games. I pray the great prayer “Thank You” all day long for my glorious messy family, husband and life; for my faith, my sobriety; for nature; for all that is still there and still working after so much has been taken from us.

When I’m most upset or in victim self-righteousness, I go for a walk, another way of getting my feet up in prayer. I pray for help and relax in a dimension outside of my mind or language. I can breathe again I say thank you.” I say, “Thank you for the same flowers and trees and ferns and cacti that I walk by every day.” I say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Leave a Comment