There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Remembering...with Love

“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.


  1. I know what you mean Deborah. I really do. Osama bin Laden was an evil man but I have to say that the idea of celebrating his death seems wrong to me. We should grieve for the lives he took, grieve for the devastation of the world, and grieve that perhaps (we can't know for sure) that this soul is now lost. So I understand.

    Here is a quote from the Vatican spokesperson:

    "In the face of a man's death, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibilities of each person before God and before men, and hopes and works so that every event may be the occasion for the further growth of peace and not of hatred." Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., Vatican spokesman

  2. I didn't hear that from the spokesperson...thanks for sharing it. Very wise words :)

  3. You've pretty much hit the nail on the head. This is a very thought-provoking entry, as always.

    People tend to want to say "Oh, killing someone is the big sin, but taking a few pennies from the cup in front of the register is the little sin."

    So, very well written!


  4. Well said.

    My annoyance has surpassed my sadness.

    I, for one, felt no sense of relief or justice. There's been dread and at times incredulous disbelief.

    I am terribly uncomfortable.

  5. I can understand where you're coming from because I share your same confusion on the subject. I just feel an overwhelming sadness for the entire situation. I wish it had never come to this in the first place.

  6. Deb, your heart is indeed being formed in the image of Christ who lives in you. The fact that you were tormented by the celebration of Bin Laden's death illustrates to me that the Holy Spirit is indeed working in your life. As persecuted as St. Paul was, He wrote this to the Christians in Rome. I share it with you... "Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with everyone. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God. for it is written, 'vengeance is mine, I will repay says the Lord'. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty give him drink...."
    These are not easy words to live by but those who God calls to live by these words have the Holy Spirit to assist them. PJ