Monday, May 2, 2011


I along with the rest of the world watched the initial news reports pop into our Sunday evening shows (Brothers & Sisters was stopped at a very critical moment). I watched as the first reporter boldly read the words off their Blackberry when everyone else was hesitating. I watched my Twitter and Facebook feed blow up with celebration in the death of a man none of us knew. And I listened to the President give a speech that we will all remember for the rest of our lives.

This is not meant to be a political post. I don't think this is about politics or religion or teaparties. I have never lost someone I love in the hands of another. I have never felt that pain and I cannot imagine what it is like. Just the idea of someone hurting Brian and Lila is enough to make my heart pound and my hands turn to fists. And I certainly don't know what it is like to have my husband fighting against a man intent on terrorizing their home. One of my best friends puts her two boys to bed every night while her husband is in another country for the second time since the towers fell, defending those of us still behind.

I do not know what any of those things feel like. But as a Christian, I felt something stirring inside me as I read comment after comment, claiming victory in Christ at Bin Laden's death. Shouting praise and celebration. Condemning him to hell and wishing him torture and pain. As a Christian, I don't know how I can celebrate the death of a man. A man who Christ died for, just as he died for me, no matter how horrendous his sins were. If Osama Bid Laden called out to Jesus in his final moments for forgiveness, would Christ open his arms? Is he any less deserving of the redemptive grace I accept so freely?

I don't know if Osama Bin Laden went to hell. I don't know how God serves justice after this life. I don't know if Bin Laden did yell out to God in his final moments if he could ever join me in Heaven one day. I am glad I don't have to make these decisions. I am glad it is not my job to do justice. I am glad I can love mercy and all that it means to me and any other who chooses it. Christ died for my sins and I will continue to hope for a peaceful world, one where assassinations are not needed because hatred will not reign. One where Christians will not cry out in Jesus name at bloodshed because of their hurting, scared and confused hearts. One where mothers will not weep for their fallen children.

All I know is tonight, I hold my daughter a little tighter. I kiss my husband a little longer. And I pray even more fervently for the protection of the men and women away from their families, fighting for my freedom to be safe at home with mine.

I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
~Martin Luther King Jr

1 comment:

Christine said...

lovely - i saw a friend make this comment:

"why think about the death of a man who killed thousands when I can celebrate the life of a Man who can save millions"

sort of put things in perspective