‘…Tenderly cradled in freefall’

These title words, written by Kayla Mueller in a letter to her parents, described her state of mind while being held captive by ISIS in May, 2014. Kayla Mueller was a twenty-six-year-old college graduate who, like most other young American adults, had goals and aspirations of doing something great. Yet her calling was not to pursue the traditional American dream of success and money. Instead, Kayla felt compelled to travel the world as a humanitarian-aid worker, offering her gifts to those in greatest need.

After graduating from Northern Arizona State, Mueller worked as an English teacher to Tibetan refugees in India. Later she served in Israel through the International Solidarity Movement, an organization focused on maintaining peace between Palestine and Israel. In 2013 Mueller, in her pursuit to help Syrian refugees, made her way to the Syrian border to work with “Support to Life,” a Danish humanitarian agency. While working in the Syrian city of Aleppo, Kayla was captured by ISIS militants and held hostage. After eighteen months in prison, Kayla was killed during a Jordanian air strike and confirmed dead on February 10, 2015.

Reckless or fearless?

In the familiar Matthew 25:14-30 parable, Jesus tells his followers how we are given certain gifts that we are expected to use to “multiply” God’s kingdom. Yet, in our pursuit of this calling, we may find ourselves in situations that are risky to our safety and well-being. Kayla lived life using the gifts she was bestowed and pursuing her call to serve those in need. She once said that God was revealed to her through “the suffering eyes reflected” in her own and that she would “forever seek” God through those eyes. That pursuit ultimately claimed her life. Still, Kayla leaves us with an important question: How are we using our gifts to fearlessly live out our calling for Christ?

Question of the day: How do we use our gifts to fearlessly live out our calling for Christ?
Focal Scriptures: Judges 16:18-20; Matthew 16:24-26; Acts 7:54-60

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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