Since Osama Bin Laden was killed, I’ve read many blogs, tweets, Facebook posts and notes of people’s reaction to his death. I find it interesting how many of us are struggling to react to this event and that includes me. We’ve quoted scripture, the thoughts of great leaders and even expressed our own opinions to find solace in how we feel about this historic event. Christians are trying to formulate balanced perspectives because the reality of death through assassination is not something we can consciously rejoice in, even if Bin Laden was a man overcome with evil. In all that, we’ve struggled to reconcile how we should respond.
There have been some very good blog posts written such as Love Your Enemies, On Loving Our Enemies and Mourning the Death of Osama Bin Laden. All address the Christ-like approach to responding and processing how we feel through the lens of Christ.
Something that keeps coming to mind, though, is that it’s not only Christians who are struggling with responding. Sure you’ll hear and read far right, fundamental, patriotic thoughts of rejoicing, as well as the far left, peace is the answer, stop the violence thoughts as well. However, there is more happening here than we can work through in immediate fashion. For the past ten years all we’ve known is that al Qaida wants to kill Americans and as a result we’ve lived in fear. Fear has gripped us and caused us to change the way we live in every area of life. This culture of fear has permeated every part of our being as an American Society. Many had lost hope in ever finding Bin Laden and “bringing him to justice.” That is where we find our struggle, in not being able to see him brought to justice like we saw Saddam, Noriega and others.
The sense I get is that some Americans wanted him captured and touted before all the cable news networks. They wanted to see his face and know that he was captured. I’m sure some wanted to see him behind bars taunted and tortured for every life taken as a result of September 11th. They wanted justice the way they felt was appropriate to them. I get the sense that many believe he took the easy way out with a couple bullets to the head and in that they don’t see justice.
Don’t misunderstand me, I can’t read everyone’s mind or know how they feel. I also can’t read every blog, Facebook note or tweet. What I can do is believe that what’s happened has happened. Osama Bin Laden faced justice the way he had lived by causing war to fall upon himself. Sadly, he also brought that upon his family. We can’t change what’s happened. What we can do is hope that this will allow closure for those who lost family and friends during all the events connected to September 11th. We can pray that Bin Laden’s family will find hope in Christ and that we will show them love, but not because they are enemies. Rather, because they are created in God’s image.
We can all philosophize about this all we want. We can quote thought upon thought in an effort to reconcile in our own hearts how we should feel. In the end it comes down to knowing that none of this has taken God by surprise. We can be mad at Him and keep asking “why?” I do know this, only God can bring healing to our hearts and minds. Through Christ, God the Father fully understands our pain, our doubt and our need for justice. He paid the ultimate price for humanity’s sin, while wielding justice on the enemy as he hung on the cross, was buried and resurrected. In that we can find solace, peace and healing.