By John Pierce
Yesterday, when reporting on the Islamic State’s continuous barbarism, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer discussed claims that an American hostage had been killed in Jordanian airstrikes. The conversations were primarily, and appropriately, about the likelihood this information was propaganda — an attempt to drive a wedge between Jordan and the U.S.
However, I was struck by Blitzer’s repeated references to the “idealism” of 26-year-old Kayla Mueller (whom the network named only recently). The Arizona native was captured in August 2013 while leaving a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders.
There is no level low enough for these militants who show complete disregard for humanity. Even one seeking to help others is a target.
Indeed it takes some idealism to go to Syria to help alleviate the deep suffering of refugees. But it seems that something much more motivated this bright, young woman: serious faith.
Is it idealistic to give oneself in sacrificial service to others? If so, Jesus was the most idealistic person to ever live.
Perhaps this young woman just read or heard the words of Jesus and (unlike most of us who claim to follow Jesus) decided to actually heed them.
Tagging her as idealistic is a dismissive way of saying, “She shouldn’t have gone there.” Jesus’ repeated calls to faith, commitment, altruism, self-sacrifice and risky service say something else.
I wouldn’t go to such a place at such a time, nor would I consent to that experience for those I love most deeply. Not because I dismiss such perspectives and actions as idealistic, but because my faith is not that deep and strong.
Putting oneself at risk for the sake of others is surely more than idealism. It is the way of Christ.