Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Take on the Osama Bin Laden Story

Proverbs 24:17-18 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him.

As a granddaughter of a WWII vet, a daughter of a career military officer, daughter-in-law of a career military officer, wife of a career military officer, and a former military officer myself, (and if he has his way, mother of one too), my response to this news is tempered.

I rejoice that a very dangerous mission, that has been ongoing for many years, and that has undoubtedly caused much harm to military and intelligence people involved in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden (OBL), is over. We found him. Had he allowed it, we would have brought him back alive. He did not allow that.

I rejoice that the military personnel involved in the operation were able to get in, accomplish the mission, and get out, without casualties to the team. I rejoice that the loss of life among the enemy was very low. This was no indiscriminate 'kill em all and let God sort out the details' mission. Our military professionals are MUCH more honorable than that.

I mourn the loss of life because those who died lived in such darkness. They had embraced their own brand of evil, corrupted their own religion, and led many, many young people to deaths that dishonored the Creator of Life himself. OBL's encouragement of those young suicide-bombers is the thing that I find most reprehensible.  His contempt for their lives, much less the victims, was sickening. He could have spent his millions helping those young people do something productive, to rise above the hopelessness of refugee camps. He did not.

He and the others chose their path. I would not wanted to have been in their shoes face to the face with their Creator in the instant after their death.

In Matthew 5:24, Jesus says, "but I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

I wonder how many of us who call ourselves Christians embraced that about OBL.

Romans 3:23 says, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

I figure that means that no matter how much evil he promulgated, OBL is no worse a sinner than I am. Which means I need to make sure I'm right with God in every thing I do.  The only way to do that is to dwell with him constantly, to seek His face and His will, and to obey his commandments. The only way to do that is to first, surrender your life -- to ask Him to be your Lord and Savior.

On Sept 11, 2001, by the grace of God we were in the process of moving in to our new house, and did not have any TV hookup. Thus, my children never saw the footage until they were much older. We didn't even allow them to see the still photos for many years.  Yet they knew what had happened. I explained it to my 4 year old son at the time like this, "some terrorists -- bad people who don't like the United States and Americans -- took over some airplanes and flew them into some big office buildings and killed many, many people.  Some of the firefighters and police officers who went to help the people get out were also killed.  It's a very sad day."

I think it was the next day, when we were ready to pray over a meal, that little boy said, "we should pray for the terrorists that God will change their hearts."

Out of the mouths of babes.


Mary said...

This makes me think of Pope John Paul II, and his forgiveness of his would-be assassin. He didn't just give him lip-service, he truly forgave and prayed for him. Oh, to be that good of a Christian.
It does tear at my heart when I see the people gathering and cheering.

The Bug said...

I have been recoiling from all the celebrating. I understand closure & feeling proud that we succeeded finally - but what did we really succees at? Your son's comment is a poignant reminder of the good that we CAN be.

Robin said...

Mostly I feel a bit of relief, tempered with fairly substantial concern about what this will cause to be set into play.

It had to be done, there's no question of that, and from all I've seen it was carried out with precision and honor, but I can't rejoice at death, even his. Am I "glad" he's dead? Yes, but I won't be one of the revelers in the streets.

quilly said...

Even at 4 years old your son showed more wisdom than most adults are today.

Carolina Linthead said...

Beautifully stated, heartfelt post with which I agree very much. To the soldiers who went into harm's way to do what had to be done, we give our thanks, and we rejoice that they accomplished their mission with precision and honor, as Robin said. For much else, we ask in the age-old prayer, "Father, forgive." ~ Dr. M.