© photo credit: cheshireherald.com
In a 24 hour period, hubby and I watched our DVR'd version of The Royal Wedding (followed by a viewing of The Queen with Helen Mirren) and learned about the death of Osama bin Laden.
My emotions are mixed up.
The wedding celebration was festive and ornate. The bride looked stunning in her Alexander McQueen gown and the groom looked nervous and boyish. The crowds were inspiring, and the ceremony itself was reverent and honoring to the Christian faith and humanity. I knew that look on Kate Middleton's face as she stood next to her new husband. Granted, I never had to walk down an aisle that long or even consider being seen by the entire world in that moment, but I do know those nervous and excited butterflies that were no doubt fluttering about in her stomach and that grin in-between kisses.
Osama bin Laden's death was shocking, relieving and saddening. I still feel sick about it. I am relieved that this man can no longer inflict harm on others, but my heart hurts when I see scores of Americans chanting and cheering and turning this news in to a national holiday.
I am reminded of Matthew 5:44.
Facebook blew up over the news, and the status updates from some of my friends were chilling. I even overheard my dentist tell one of his other patients today, "I want to see Osama bin Laden lying on a slab." My brother was in the military, but he never saw combat. I don't know what it's like to lose a loved one to war or even what war really feels like, but I do know that love and redemption are paramount in this life; and sensationalizing the death of anyone feels wrong, even when it's the death of a major terrorist.
Our pastor in Seattle sent this message to his church today:
"I've long felt that my primary allegiance is to my King Jesus and my true country - heaven. I'm a citizen in the Kingdom of God long before I'm identified as a citizen of the United States of America. That said, I've also considered myself quite patriotic - and very grateful to live in this great country of ours. I'm really proud of extremely well-trained SEALs who bravely sought to bring justice about to a man who has bred hate and death among so many in our world. But I do not rejoice in the death of anyone. I so appreciated Pastor Ben sharing on his Facebook page of Ezekiel 33:11 and God's desire for people to come to repentance - he does not delight in the death of the wicked. He does, however, allow nations to render decisions that bring about justice on this broken planet (Romans 13). So, many of us probably feel something of relief, yet also recognize that we are not those who are called to respond to hate with more of it. Be wise, my friends, in your responses to this news."
And I read this written by a mother of three.
Lord have mercy on us all. For better or worse.