The death of Osama Bin Laden gives rise to conflicting emotions. There’s a kind of relief – even gladness – that he’s finally out of the picture. There is a sense of completion that a goal, long set, is now accomplished – maybe that’s partly where the celebrations have come from. There’s renewed sadness as memories of 9/11 come flooding back – I can’t imagine what it’s like for the people who lost loved ones in the attacks, who live with these memories every single day. There’s renewed gratitude for the people who were the first responders on 9/11. Gratitude for those who stepped up to answer their nation’s call to respond in the various ways, right or wrong, our leaders have felt necessary.
But there’s also a troubled sense that violent death is not cause for celebration. Bin Laden’s life was itself a testimony to the devastation that fear and hate bring when they overcome the forces of life and hope. If I am honest, I have to admit that I resonate with the decision to search him out. But I also know that violence begets violence, and though his death brings a kind of closure to a decade-long search, it will bring its own retribution. The cycle of violence is likely to continue. Others will lose their lives before this tale is completely told.
Maybe that’s ultimately in part why Jesus told us to love our enemies. Not just for the principle of the matter, but also because in practice, hate will circle back and strike at us again…continue reading article here