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To Her Baba

The body of a little girl washed up on the beach on Sunday. I was there only a few hours before.

I haven't known how to write about his part of the trip yet. We get reports everyday of drownings- one or two one day, 42 another. Last week a baby died of hypothermia on the beach.

Up until now, I haven't been letting myself think about it. I have been a little afraid that I'd never stop crying and be totally useless for the rest of our time here. And to be honest, I have had no idea how to talk about this. The news shows statistic after statistic here, and I need you all to understand that these "statistics" have bodies and faces and stories and families that deserve to be honored and remembered and mourned.

So, this morning, Jesus asked me to mourn. He asked me to let it all in and honor the life of the little girl on the beach with my tears. And in that mourning, he told me how to write it down.

My heart is absolutely broken for the family of this child. I can't imagine their grief and more than anything in the world, I want to be able to speak comfort and truth into their lives. The fact of the matter is, I can't. I have no idea where they are at this point- whether they made it across the sea, or to camp, or to Athens. I feel this incredible amount of loss and frustration at not being able to speak Jesus to them.

But my God is not limited by time, space, or physics. And I believe with all of my heart that he is meeting this family in their grief, and that he is using the prayers of his people to do so. He speaks in dreams, in visions, and directly to the hearts of his people- and that's what I'm counting on.

And so, I wrote a letter to the Baba (father) of this little girl. And I'm praying that Jesus carries the words over.

Salam, my dear friend,

I know these words will never be enough, but I weep with you at the loss of your daughter. She was beautiful, and precious, and I know that you love her fiercely.

I am so sorry that this has happened.

There are two things that you must know now. The first is this: it is not your fault.

Please, hear me. This was not your fault.

I know that it was your decision to get in the boat to cross the water. Maybe you had misgivings when you saw how cheap and unsteady the boat looked. Maybe your wife cried. But what other choice did you have? Your home was destroyed- maybe the Taliban was seeking you out. You had to keep your family safe. It was the boat or a bullet.

You made a brave, and loving, choice. Don't let the enemy of your soul convince you otherwise.

Second, and most importantly, you are not alone. You are a good Baba, but you have a PERFECT Baba who loves you and your daughter more than you could ever imagine. He also lost a child in a terrible political conflict, and he weeps for your pain. Though you may feel alone, know that he walked beside you every step of the journey from Syria through Turkey. He was beside you in the boat. He held your daughter in her last moments. He holds you now.

Where he is, there are no more tears. He is caring for your daughter now, with more tenderness and

love than you could ever imagine. She will never again be afraid- never lack anything. He is all joy and laughter and peace.

He holds her, and he longs to hold you, if you will permit him. I pray, my brother, that you will come to know him as the true lover and pursuer of your soul and that he brings you peace and healing.

In him, we will be family.

You are loved,


(The video below is from Lighthouse, the organization down at stage one on the beach. The man beside the child is Mustafa, a doctor, who was called in when her body was found).


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