children on the shore


“Now I don’t want anything,”  the father of Aylan Kurdi said a day later, after filling out forms at a morgue to claim the bodies of his family. “Even if you give me all the countries in the world, I don’t want them. What was precious is gone.”


i went to the water a few days ago.

i took my children to the water to lay around in the sand.  i drank wine and laughed with my friends.

i took pictures in perfect light.


i brought them all home safe.  i’ve held them in my arms since and felt their beating hearts. i’ve kissed their warm faces.

they are more precious to me than all the countries in the world.


but what should i do now?

what is a fitting way to respond to the war in syria?

there is great wisdom in the words of this grieving father.

“Now I don’t want anything.  Even if you give me all the countries in the world, I don’t want them. What was precious is gone.”


maybe it’s best to look at what is precious.  maybe it’s enough to examine what it is i want and why.  it might be good enough to respond by looking at every warring faction in my own life and saying no thank you.

i think i’ll buy a plot of land and live in peace for the rest of my days, as much as it depends on me.


one stupid three dollar raft could have saved the life of a child.

maybe.  maybe not.

and we have them ad nauseam.

but i don’t want anything now.  if you gave me the world, i wouldn’t want it because i already have what is precious and irreplaceable and so close i can reach out and feel its heartbeat under my palm.

help me keep this father’s truth close today, lord.

sign this, give here, pray daily.

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