Monday, May 2, 2011


I woke up this morning to the news that Osama bin Laden is dead. And my heart is torn.

I am grateful that there is some sense of justice for the families of those who were killed because of this man. But that sense of justice will not bring back their loved ones.

I am grateful that the world may be little bit safer...but it will never be truly safe.

I am grateful that the world will no longer be subjected to the terrorism that bin Laden plans. But there will still be terrorism that others plan and carry out.

I am grateful that the evil that was perpetuated by this man did not go unpunished and will not go least by him. I am concerned that events may escalate in retaliation by those who followed him and were in league with him.

I am grateful for the men and women who have put and will put their lives on the line to keep our freedoms and who continue to work and fight to keep the world safer.

But in spite of the justice of bin Laden's death, I am saddened. I am sad that there are people who go so far as bin Laden did. I am sad that there are people who refuse to know the Lord. I am sad that there are people who have never been told about the Lord. I find some relief that this man is dead, but I am also sad that he died not recognizing Christ as Lord.

As I read through my news feed on facebook, I understood the feelings expressed, but was also saddened. I was torn. Someone who perpetuated much evil is no longer alive. But he was also a person...he was also one of God's children, whether he acknowledged that or not. And in spite of the sense of relief that his reign of terror is over, I cannot find anything to rejoice about in his death. I am saddened to read of people having parties celebrating his death, and to see tasteless pictures (obviously edited) of his decapitated head being held up.

Death, however well deserved, even when necessary, is never something to rejoice in. By rejoicing in death, we give in to the hate as well. And once we give in to hate, how far are we from becoming the wicked ourselves?

I was grateful to see that there are some people who also feel the same way, and were willing to stand up and say so. Some of them drew my attention to Proverbs 24:17-18 "Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him," and Ezekiel 33:11 "As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, o house of Israel?"

If God, who is perfect, does not rejoice in the death of a wicked person, how can I, who by no stretch of the imagination am anywhere close to perfect, then rejoice in that death? And if I do, am I then turning from God rather than trying to become like him?