Osama Bin Laden is Dead-This Brings Up an Important Point

The recent release of Bowe Bergdahl and the controversy that is surfacing has left me feeling uneasy and conflicted. I am in no position to take a stand for or against him and I have found that news sources cannot be trusted, especially in the early stages of any story. What I do know is that as the stories are coming through my newsfeed on Facebook, my heart is hurting for my friends who either served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan and their families. My stomach is also turning as I read about the 5 Taliban prisoners who were released in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl. I am taken back to May 2, 2011 when I heard that Osama Bin Laden was dead. Given the fact that the two situations are different, I don't have the same feelings about the Bowe Bergdahl situation as the feelings I did over the death of Osama Bin Laden, though both have left me feeling somber and contemplative, but the point I made 3 years ago about Osama Bin Laden's death is the same one I am contemplating today. I am posting an updated version of my post from 3 years ago. Reading it has definitely made me feel humble.


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The death of Osama Bin Laden brings up an important point--

We live in a very broken world.

I remember.  I remember waking up to a report of a plane crash, hitting snooze, then hearing of a second crash the next time my alarm went off.  I remember my husband's voice when he ran out of our room to tell us, or I should say, tried to tell us, that the Pentagon had been hit.  I remember putting my hand on my 8-month pregnant belly and wondering what this might mean for my children's future.

I remember watching the news reports.  I remember the speechless tears of my father-in-law as we watched people jump from the WTC towers.  I remember seeing the thousands of posters with faces of men and women who were missing all over the walls of NYC, representing the last and very faint hope that someone's loved one might still be alive.

Many of you may remember the picture of the African-American woman in her career clothing, completely covered in ashes, with a look of shock, disbelief, confusion, and a face that showed her mind's desperate attempts to see that she survive this horrific event unfolding around her. Her picture is emblazoned into my memory.  

I remember when our soldiers went to war.  I remember how in 12 days we took Afghanistan.  And I know this War on Terror has been long, though to be honest, I don't think it hit me just how long it's been until today.

I feel the need to insert some disclaimers before I continue.  I do not stay current on the news. I'm a hit-and-miss reader and most of what I read is what my friends share on Facebook. I am not an expert in politics.  

And so, because of all that, I will not judge those who are cheering in the streets of D.C.  I will not judge my friends on facebook who are quoting Bible verses on how we shouldn't celebrate the death of the wicked.  I won't judge those who are flying facebook flags and posting patriotic videos and I certainly won't judge my military friends who have served in the Middle East who, interestingly enough, aren't saying anything.

I just think that Bin Laden's death serves as a slap-in-the-face reminder that we live in a horribly dark and broken world and I am mourning that tonight.  

As a mother, I'd like to spit on the body of Osama Bin Laden.  And yet, and I believe this with all my heart, I am but a few steps away from a heart as evil as his.  I am not so great a person that I am above evil.  I am as human as Bin Laden. As hard as it is for to me accept or even say that the guy is human, I have to recognize that he is and was once an innocent child like I was.  As I listen to people saying that justice has finally been done, I sit here and remember that justice is not being done to me.  Mercy is extended to me everyday.  

Why God allowed me to be born in America and not under the immediate threat of men like Osama Bin Laden, I don't know, but I am thankful.  Why God allows me to sit here and write this while a mother mourns the loss of her child in a foreign land by the hand of someone like Osama Bin Laden, I don't know.  I hear people talk about our "Christian nation" and hear their implication that we somehow deserve to live in the land of the free, but count up all the wrongs you have done in your life and tell me that you deserve it more than any other.  Tell me, if you can, if buying a gift for an impoverished child cancels out the time you yelled at your own.  Tell me, if you can, if standing up for that elderly woman cancels out the time you bullied someone in high school.  Tell me, if you honestly can, that all the good things you are doing for someone today somehow makes every hurt you've caused someone else to go away.  It doesn't.

We are at the mercy of God and our fellow travelers in this life.

And they are at our mercy. 

Someone kicked you when you were down. Someone took everything they could get from you and laughed at your gullibility.  Someone cut you to pieces mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, sexually, or all of the above. Someone owes you one.

The greater the hurt, the greater many of us naturally desire to cash that in, myself most definitely included, but will that heal us? Will we honestly feel that the debt has been paid? I'm not saying we pretend that it was no big deal or try to excuse it and I'm not saying we shouldn't seek to make retribution for our wrongs when we can, but not everyone will seek forgiveness and we are the ones who wind up having to pay the bill. Most will never offer any retribution for what they have done to you. In reality, they can't. They could never pay what they owe you, even if they try. And so we forgive. We put boundaries in place and we move on emotionally. You are broken, they are broken, our world is broken and we are all just trying to put the pieces back together again.

What does that have to do with Osama Bin Laden?  Not much, I suppose, except for the fact that tonight, as I ponder the news that the man who was the mastermind behind 9/11 is dead, I mourn for our world.  I mourn for all the evil that is happening at this moment.  I mourn for the wrongs done to others and I mourn the wrongs I have committed.  

When my grandchildren ask, "Grandma, how did you feel when you heard that Bin Laden died?"  I will answer, "Sad. Sad that the world can be such an evil place, that men can do such evil things, and that it took death to make him stop."

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