I belong to a secular homeschooling yahoo group. On it, one of the member's just posted that she was in a car accident and her 2 precious children were injured. One seriously and will most likely not recover and the other minor injuries, should be fine.
First off, I cannot begin to imagine the horror a mother would experience to have her children suffering while she sits by their bedside unable to do anything. It's actually one of my greatest fears.
Now she posted this info. to a secular website. And everyone is praying for her. Maybe not everyone, but there are 20 posts all saying "we're praying for you". WTF??? This is a secular board. I know that doesn't mean everyone is an atheist, but only one pagan popped up to say she was sending healing thoughts and blessings their way. Everyone else was down on their knees praying. Now, my guess is that the atheist members are for the most part staying silent or wishing them the best (there were a couple of those type of posts).
Now my question is, I would love to express my sympathy. And I will not be praying for her. In fact after she said that the doctors are essentially waiting for her one child to die, people kept reassuring her not to lose faith and that anything is possible.
How do you show sympathy for someone without perjuring yourself and offering non-existant hope that really is more offensive than helpful?
I'm pretty sure the people telling her to keep the faith mean well, but it seems like a shitty thing to say. Then if/when her child dies, it's like it will be her fault because she didn't believe enough.
What would YOU do for someone you know in this situation?