Tuesday, May 03, 2011
sing with me
i know that the following paragraphs probably aren't going to win me any popularity points, but i feel i must write them. i reserve the right not to really comment about the killing of a man. i understand it. we believe our government and media when they tell us that he was indeed the mastermind behind the attacks on our country on september 11, 2001. i understand that for a country who lost so much that day, we wanted closure and vengeance and justice and all that. i get that. but to rejoice in this death? no.
you see, i believe in life. and not just life, but abundant life. death, then, is never to be taken lightly. i'm not convinced that humans ever have the right to end someone's life, but even if you argue that he was a madman who had to be stopped before he killed more people, that still doesn't give us the right to rejoice in his death. if anything, it ought to cause us to reflect on the whole sad story with deep regret and pensive reflection. what causes a man to believe so radically that he is right and others are wrong, that he is willing to put his chips in with a distorted brand of his religion that causes him to violently hate and destroy? bin laden's death should cause us to wonder if what was in him might also be in us, at least to a degree. what do we feel when we disagree with people? don't we want our side to win? don't we have a bit of that in us, too? i wonder how much more intensely we would feel that if we had been the ones born in afghanistan rather than america? i wonder how that would change our story, our perspective, our understanding. bin laden's death should cause us to consider the deep brokenness of a world that seeks to end killing with more killing, as if we don't already know that it will lead to still more killing.
maybe you are convinced that bin laden was a terribly evil man. maybe you are even convinced that he absolutely had to die. but i beg you to consider what it is in us that causes us to rejoice in his death. what is it in us that causes us to want him to rot in hell? have we so quickly forgotten our own sin? are we so quick to forget that we are each the chief of sinners...that we each desperately need to throw ourselves at the feet of God to beg for mercy....that each of us is dead in our sins? are we that short-sighted? do we want hard justice for some but amazing grace for us? who gets to decide who gets justice and who gets mercy? you? me? the navy seals? only God, my friends. only God. and God says, in ezekiel, "