It’s difficult to comprehend the death of Kayla Mueller.
Who is she, you might ask? If you keep up with the news, or if you follow any number of news outlets on Twitter, you’ve undoubtedly been bombarded with the heartbreaking news that this 26-year-old aid worker from Prescott, Ariz., has died in Syria.
Mueller devoted her short career to helping those in need. She went to Syria to work with the humanitarian organization Support to Life, to assist families who fled their homes amidst the war-torn nation. Mueller was captured by the self-declared Islamic State on Aug. 4, 2013, and has been in captivity ever since.
On Tuesday, reports claimed Mueller was killed by Jordanian airstrikes targeting the terrorist group holding her, and those reports have since been confirmed by the U.S. and by her family.
Whenever I hear of American deaths anywhere in the world, but specifically in the Middle East, my first thought is always: what are you doing in harm’s way? But then when I hear that many of them are working there to help those people who are sick, dying, or in danger — as was the case with Mueller — I start to understand and appreciate why they were there in the first place.
As a Christian man, I would love to help others in need. I would like to do more volunteering and devoting my time to serve others. However, I would never visit another country that is even remotely unsafe. So, I have much respect for anyone who sacrifices his or her life — be it in the military or as an aid worker — for the benefit of others.
Heaven has a special place for Kayla Mueller.