“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” – Luke 23:34
I was not going to blog about the death of Osama bin Laden because it is a subject that evokes strong emotions and I still have a tendency to avoid conflict. But it’s on my heart and mind and I need to release it, and this is where I do that.
I’ll be honest…I’m conflicted. I understand the celebration at the news of his death, and 10 years ago when we first bombed Afghanistan I was celebrating. But God has been working on me through His son, Jesus Christ. He is changing my heart.
Jesus asks me to love my enemy and pray for those who persecute me. But he was really just talking about the guy who cuts me off in traffic or the bitchy lady at the cash register who failed to wish me a good day, right? He wasn’t really talking about this kind of enemy…or was He?
After all, Jesus forgave everyone, even down to his dying breath, even those who killed him. But He was God, surely I don’t have that capacity to forgive, being a mere human being. And even though I am made in God’s image, I’m certainly not perfect like He is.
I want to pray, forgive, love but then I feel disloyal to those who died…the victims of 9/11, the fallen firefighters, our brave soldiers. I wouldn’t want them to die in vain, and the death of this man, at least symbolically, sees to that.
But my heart feels heavy, I just feel sad. Sad for the lives lost, sad for the hate and intolerance, sad for the devastation of war. So although I can’t yet pray, forgive or love my enemy, I also can’t celebrate. Instead I will focus on the love I have for a God who is so great and so loving that He can pray, love and forgive when I am too weak, too human to do it.