A Letter to the Baby Girl Whose Terrorist Parents Killed 14 People in San Bernardino

San bernardino

Dearest Little Girl,

My heart is breaking for you. Just 48 hours ago, your parents did the unthinkable. They left you in the care of a loving grandmother, told her an unassuming lie about having a doctor’s appointment, and then went to your Daddy’s workplace in San Bernardino and shot a few dozen people, killing 14 of them.

I re-read those words I’ve just typed, and I shudder.

Oh, sweetheart. How could this happen to you? You’re only 6 months old! How could your mama leave you and go off to take the lives of someone else’s children, knowing she would probably never see you again?

And how could she do it in the name of  her “god”?

As a mama of three children, I cannot fathom it. And it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart for the childless mothers and the parentless children that are walking around awash in grief today because of what your parents did.

And it breaks my heart for you. For surely, little one, no matter how hard the family you have left tries to shield you from it, this is a mark you will bear all your days.

How could your parents do what they did knowing that you’d not only be an orphan, but that you’d carry this stigma with you forever?

I don’t understand. I think of the day that you will be old enough to ask yourself these questions, and I weep for you. Truly, dear girl, I do.

I am thousands of miles from you. I am a stranger and I do not follow the religion that your family follows. Still, my girl, I will do what I can to help you, and that is pray. I will pray to the God I worship, to Jesus Christ, to the God who formed YOU in your mother’s womb, yes—even the mother that has purposefully left you in such an evil way. I will pray that you can see that your life is beautiful. I will pray that you will know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I will pray you know that YOUR life is precious, and has a purpose. I will pray that your caregivers shower you with unconditional love.

And I pray that you will know that you are NOT your parents.

I pray that every good trait they had—for surely they had many good qualities that they stuffed down to let evil take over—will come out of their DNA and blossom in you. I pray that the evil they succumbed to will be far from you.

I pray that you will meet people who love Jesus and I pray that those people will tell you of His great love for you. I pray that you will come to know that He died for your sins, for the sins of your parents, for ALL of us. I pray that you will find that even though your life has had a rough start, that it can end in GLORY for His name’s sake.

Oh sweet little girl, I pray my brothers and sisters in the body of Christ will rise up around you and pray for you as well. I pray God will hear our prayers and make your paths straight.

And I pray, my dear one, that you will know that you are loved. Because you are, by me, and by many others who think of you and feel an ache in their mama-hearts that won’t allow us to forget to remember you in prayer as we remember all the victims of this crazy, senseless tragedy.

I will probably never know how your life turns out, but God will. He sees you, he knows you, He loves you. And that is enough. I hope you come to understand that too.

I’ll never forget you.


Joshua, Sophie, and Jonah’s Mom

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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.