When the news that the terrorist,who had eluded us for nearly a decade, had been killed came over the TV Sunday night ; I had some mixed feelings. I still do even 12 hours after the fact. My fist reaction was relief that bin Laden had been caught. He paid the price for all the hate,violence and murder that he caused. Spontaneous celebrations broke out causing my heart to grow heavy. Watching the crowds gather I understood that this was a moment that was meant to be shared ,savored,appreciate. But seeing some of the reactions that ranged from gloating to ' hope he burns in hell'. I have to admit I am bothered. This is wrong, I thought to myself, death-any death is something that should not be celebrated like the home team just won game 7 of the championship. Maybe I am missing something here or maybe it is the American psyche thats says there has to be a clear winner and a clear loser in any given situation;otherwise there is no satisfaction. No resolution. No definition. Maybe I am seeing the cheering crowds in a wrong manner. After all we have been living for close to a decade with the pall of bin Laden the terrorist who got away with –whatever he got away with. We have spent ten years making war to what end? The news that bjn Laden had been killed gave some sense of closure the American people. After all that is a part of the national psyche; that we don't like having the feeling of a job left undone. The fact that bin Laden was out there, free and loose ,taunting us made us angrier. More resolved to find the bugger. Find him we did. We found him and finished him. I can't ( or won't) down play that.
So why am I bothered by the celebrating crowds? I don't know. I don't think they are right or wrong. All I can think is where would Jesus be in all this? Where IS Jesus in all this? Do I think he would be cheering with the crowds or weeping for the loss of a human life, no matter how twisted? I'd go with the weeping. Jesus himself said , God so loved the world. The world.. Humanity. All of it...all of us... past... present.. future. Even Osama bin Laden,as evil ,as hate filled a person he was, mattered to God. God would have forgiven bin Laden,I have to believe that,so if God would have forgiven bin Laden then so should I. The hardest part of our faith, the act of forgiveness especially forgiving a person so heinous and murderous. After all I -wear the name of Christ. So then I as a Christian-have to forgive ,not celebrate. This probably why I feel somewhat out of sorts about all of the news. I suspect I should be glad that I feel like tis because it means I am still human. I am part of the fabric of humanity as well as a part of Gods family. The dichotomy of my faith is not lost on me. As a human, as well as an American, the desire for vengeance is strong but as a Christian the desire to forgive should be even stronger. I know that my thoughts here are not the ones of the evangelical conservative Christianity I come from, or be be the norm for most ' good patriotic' Americans, especially the kind that surround me here in central Florida. However I really don't care. I have to be honest as I try to become as authentic as Christian I can be. Don't get me wrong, I am glad justice is done for the 3,000 victims and their families. I just know deep within my heart that I have to mourn the loss of a human life as well as forgive them as God does. Thus the struggle.