“Osama bin Laden has been killed.” What should my response be? I am torn.
I am relieved that a man that has orchestrated such violence and death, rooted in hate, has been intentionally removed from his earthly life. No longer may he orchestrate acts of terror. No longer may he train up people in his ways of hate. No longer may he be the face of terrorism. There is one less man to lead beginning with fear.
I am also saddened that it had to come to such ends; that Osama bin Laden had to be assassinated instead of restored through the power of love. What would have happened if bin Laden had been captured and for the next ten years he had been shown acts of love and forgiveness instead of acts of hate? What if for the past ten years there would have been as many people praying for Osama bin Laden to be transformed and renewed and understood where real power comes from as there have been people praying for his death?
What I am not is in a celebratory mood. That is one emotion that has not entered my heart. I can not celebrate death. Maybe it is too close to Easter morning, having celebrated victory over death. Maybe it is envisioning those that loved bin Laden no longer having him with them, even knowing how evil we may know him to be. Maybe I am too hopeful that there was good inside of him that would have won if he had not been assassinated. I know I would have celebrated then; a man who has committed such atrocities seeking forgiveness.
I am torn because I realize that Osama bin Laden too was a child of God and that I too am a child of God. I am torn because I want to hold myself higher in the eyes of God than I hold Osama bin Laden knowing full well that I am asking for the right hand when it is not mine to ask for. I am torn because I know that I would not feel comfortable breaking bread at the same table as one of my enemies.
I am torn because I do not know what emotion is the right emotion to feel.
I am not torn in knowing that the right action is to get on my knees and pray. To pray for my own short comings. To pray for President Obama having to sign the order for another man’s death. To pray for the family that Osama bin Laden leaves behind. To pray for reconciliation that breeds fear. To pray for peace. To pray that all may one day realize that true power comes from God instead of our selves. To pray a prayer of thanksgiving knowing that I do not have to know what is right and that it is ok to be torn.