Monday, May 02, 2011

[Writing in Haste and Repenting at Leisure]

What.

A.

Weekend.

Wow.

By the time you read this, you'll undoubtedly have heard the news--if not, you're doing an amazing job of tuning out media in all forms (or you read my blog first thing in the morning, which may be a dangerous practice on days like this). If, in the off chance you don't know what happened yesterday, just log on to any news site anywhere, then come back here.

Like everyone else I've encountered, I've got a gamut a thoughts and reactions that make sense in the moment but at times contradict each other. For that reason, beyond the couple of reactionary Facebook posts I wrote in the moments after learning the news, I'm going to wait to write in-depth (if I write on this topic at all after today) until I've digested this information more and observed how others are reacting (as well as those outside the U.S. reacting to our collective reactions). In other words, I don't want to write "in haste and repent at leisure." One thing I do know now, though, is what a fine line there is that exists between a desire for justice (a virtuous desire, especially in light of the thousands who've died at the hands--directly and indirectly--of Bin Laden) and the removal of his influence, and delight in seeing the death of a man--a man ruled by evil, yes, but still a man who was once an innocent child before extremism warped his mind and heart. And I'll admit, as much as I don't like the death penalty, I reacted initially more in the latter category--gleefully, even, but that's a part of me I'm working on by God's grace. There are limits to my mercy, but thank heavens there are no limits to God's mercy. As such, I've since had a little time to think about my emotions and conclude that this is probably an internal contradiction that will not be easily solved.

That being said, I would encourage you all to be in prayer (or positive thought, if you're not the praying sort) that Bin Laden does not become an extremist martyr and that his death does not plant the seeds of more extremism--either Muslim or Christian (because history shows, no faith is immune).

So, take a deep breath, rejoice in the relief of knowing he can no longer directly do further harm, and then digest your emotions and the news a little before speaking. Don't forget, the world is watching our reactions, and that may have a big influence on how the rest of the world reacts to us in the months and years to come.

Over and out.

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