Prayers are meant to honour and give thanks to God or ask God for miracles and assistance to cope with certain problematic situations in life. But as much as Christian mother Katie Crenshaw appreciates people's prayers for her daughter Charlie, who was born with a capillary hemangioma on her face, she would prefer that people stop offering prayers for her.
Writing on her blog "Twelve and Six," Crenshaw notes that her daughter's condition is the first thing people notice about her. "We don't need to talk about it every time you look at her. We see past the color of her face. Charlie is Charlie and it's part of who she is. It doesn't need to be constantly commented on, critiqued, or questioned," she writes.
Crenshaw explains that her daughter's hemangioma actually looks like a giant strawberry birthmark across her right cheek. Even though it's a tumour, removing it would be purely cosmetic, she says.
"She isn't in pain or ill. She simply has an unusual quality about her appearance. The most common sentiments are 'I'm praying that it goes away.' Or 'Bless her poor little heart,'" she writes.
It makes Crenshaw feel that people are thinking that her daughter is weird when in fact the tumour is a "beautiful feature that makes her who she is."
She asks people to reflect how they would feel if the same thing happened to their own children.
"I encourage you to, instead of praying it will disappear, pray that she grows into a confident girl who loves herself no matter what she looks like. Pray that constant comments and opinions from friends, family and strangers will end before she's old enough to overhear them. Pray that she will be a strong person in an age where we are bullied for any number of reasons."
Crenshaw says her daughter's tumour is part of her "unique beauty," which may never disappear. "And guess what? It doesn't have to. I would much rather chat about her latest milestone achievement, her amazing smile, or how gorgeous her eyes are," she says.