Good Morning Brothers…
Kayla Mueller was a daughter. Kayla Mueller was a sister. Kayla Mueller is a beautiful example of love for the world. Despite her death at the hands of ISIS, she represents the best of Christianity. She went into harms way to bring love, joy, and peace to the people who needed it most. She is a warrior for the Most High God. And yet…I weep for her father and mother. I weep for her brother. I weep for her family and friends and all those that have been touched by her life. Her life, so blessed, so full of the love of Christ, that even though I never met her, I know her…because I know the Lord and Savior that fills her.
I have always felt that America missed a chance to bring the light of Jesus to the world in our response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. I believe that President Bush was painted into a corner and had to respond in kind, however, he missed the chance to fill in those front lines with missionaries. The whole world waited with baited breath to see how we, a supposed Christian nation, would respond to getting hit in the eye. We responded by hitting back. We responded to violence with more violence. For every terrorist we killed, we created 3 more. How would the middle east look if we had taken ground with the military and then evangelized the survivors? How would the middle east look if the American government asked the Church for help to bring peace to the region? How would the Church react to such a request? How would America look if our peacekeeping efforts involved less bullets and more prayer? How would America react to a President who falls to his knees publicly and cries out to God for help? How would our news anchors report on the scores of missionaries getting into planes and flying off to near certain death in the name of Jesus? How would this world look, if the superpower of the United States of America, submitted itself to God Almighty for help and direction? I wonder…
While in captivity, Kayla wrote a letter to her parents and it was smuggled out. The contents of the letter are below.
The following is text of a letter 26-year-old American Kayla Mueller wrote to her family while in ISIS captivity in November 2014:
Everyone, If you are receiving this letter it means I am still detained but my cell mates (starting from 11/2/2014) have been released. I have asked them to contact you + send you this letter. It’s hard to know what to say. Please know that I am in a safe location, completely unharmed + healthy (put on weight in fact); I have been treated w/ the utmost respect + kindness. I wanted to write you all a well thought out letter (but I didn’t know if my cell mates would be leaving in the coming days or the coming months restricting my time but primarily) I could only but write the letter a paragraph at a time, just the thought of you all sends me into a fit of tears. If you could say I have ‘suffered’ at all throughout this whole experience it is only in knowing how much suffering I have put you all through; I will never ask you to forgive me as I do not deserve forgiveness. I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God. I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator b/c literally there was no else … + by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall. 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 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 … I miss you all as if it has been a decade of forced separation. I have had many a long hour to think, to think of all the things I will do w/ Lex, our first family camping trip, the first meeting @ the airport. I have had many hours to think how only in your absence have I finally @ 25 years old come to realize your place in my life. The gift that is each one of you + the person I could + could not be if you were not a part of my life, my family, my support. I DO NOT want the negotiations for my release to be your duty, if there is any other option take it, even if it takes more time. This should never have become your burden. I have asked these women to support you; please seek their advice. If you have not done so already, [REDACTED] can contact [REDACTED] who may have a certain level of experience with these people. None of us could have known it would be this long but I know I am also fighting from my side in the ways I am able + I have a lot of fight left inside of me. I am not breaking down + I will not give in no matter how long it takes. I wrote a song some months ago that says, ‘The part of me that pains the most also gets me out of bed, w/out your hope there would be nothing left …’ aka- The thought of your pain is the source of my own, simultaneously the hope of our reunion is the source of my strength. Please be patient, give your pain to God. I know you would want me to remain strong. That is exactly what I am doing. Do not fear for me, continue to pray as will I + by God’s will we will be together soon.
All my everything,
Everytime I read that letter, I hear the echo’s of the Apostle Paul, also writing from prison. Kayla reminds me that love is still more powerful than bullets, more powerful than violence, more powerful than the dark forces at work in this world. She reminds me that our fight is not against flesh and blood. She reminds me that Christians, the Church, still fight the same battle we have always fought. Years ago, our spiritual ancestors journeyed to Rome to face certain death. They were ripped apart, but they kept coming. After a couple hundred years of blood, burnt bodies, dismembered parts, and numerous acts of brutality against Christians in the name of entertainment, the city of Rome was taken in the name of Jesus. Those men and women weren’t called missionaries…they were called Christians.
Thank you Kayla, for helping us remember what it means to be Christian. Sacrifice is necessary. I still weep for her father, but now, I also weep for Mother Mary, as she watched her son butchered on a cross, I also weep for God the Father, as He watched His only begotten Son willfully bear the sins of the world. In the weeping…I see love.
Atta girl Kayla…