I rarely watch the news on TV. It’s just too toxic for me. But every now and then, I hear something on NPR or read a bit of news on the internet, that grabs my attention, and I go looking for more.
Kayla Mueller grabs my attention this way. Ever since I heard about her death, I want to know about her life. I wonder about her courage. I wonder how she wants us to remember her. I am pulled into this part of the letter she wrote to her family and friends while she was held prisoner.
“I have been shown in darkness, light + have learned that even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful. I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it. I pray each each day that if nothing else, you have felt a certain closeness + surrender to God as well + have formed a bond of love + support amongst one another…”
How does a young woman in her twenties get that kind of insight?
She gets it from the life she lives and the people she associates with. When you choose work that causes you to witness pain and suffering, you must develop that kind of insight, that faith, in order to keep your own sanity.
Before she went to help refugees in Syria, Kayla worked to help people in India and Israel. In her homeland of the United States, she worked with AmeriCorps, America’s Promise, Open Inn for troubled youth, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. In her home state of Arizona, she worked with Northland Cares, an HIV/AIDS clinic in Prescott, and the Prescott Area Women’s Shelter.
Kayla was a woman of mission. She did much good work in her short life. She wanted peace. I don’t know how she wanted Peace to happen in the whole big world. But I believe she would want us to find a peaceful way.
She would want us to help ease suffering, wherever we are, and in whatever ways we can.
I want to remember Kayla Mueller’s life for as long as I live.
The photo above and others can be found here:
You can find the timeline of Kayla’s life work here: