I am shocked. I am appalled. I want to do something. My heart aches for the Syrian child, little Aylan Kurdi, whose body washed ashore on the Turkish coast last week.
A living nightmare
To lose a child is a parent's worst nightmare. As someone who has lost two babies, I know too well the deep sorrow it causes. But I didn't lose my babies in a preventable war.
I didn't lose them in such senseless horror. I know none of the torture these refugees have suffered.
However, I know what it's like to live through a nightmare. I know what it's like to cradle lifeless bodies in my arms. I know what it's like to stand, stunned, in a funeral parlour picking out tiny coffins. When my sons died I cried so much it hurt.
What I've learnt in the aftermath is that the death of a child is truly horrific. And it's so easy to look away from such horror.
But loss isn't contagious. Few dare to do it, but it's OK to go and walk alongside the grieving. In fact, I think what grieving parents need most is your presence. They need you to offer them a tea and a listening ear. They need you to do the dishes—the dirty pile gets high.
Presence in pain
More than anything bereaved parents need you to be present in the midst of their pain.
Likewise I think the world's refugees, who are right now suffering so much, need our presence.
It's easy to look away but Christians are instructed to look on. Jesus looked on. And he cared so much. 'Welcome the refugee; love them', He taught us. I think Jesus's heart breaks for little Aylan.
Surely Jesus would open His arms up and say to the refugees, 'Come here, where it's safe, every last one of you'.
Don't look away
As the picture of this little boy fades from our collective conscience, we can still be present for these people. We can continue advocating on their behalf, even when it seems so useless. Even when we get tired, exhausted. Even though we're tempted to look away from their grief.
They need our presence and we must not give up on them.
Danielle Carney lives in Melbourne. Danielle has a degree in Christian Theology and once worked for an inner city church with a giant steeple.
Danielle's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/danielle-carney.html