Sunday, May 1, 2011

Anyone's death...is a tragedy

Osama Bin Laden is dead.  How are you responding?

A retired president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel, wrote one that during the rule of Communism in Czechoslovakia, he realized that it was becoming harder to tell who was good and bad...he wrote, “The line [between good and evil]  did not run clearly between ‘them’ and ‘us,’ but through each person.  No one was  simply a victim; everyone was in some measure co-responsible . . . Many people were on both sides” (NY Review of Books, Feb. 19, 1998).

Alexander Solzhenitsyn said it this way, “Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart. . . . This line shifts.  Inside us, it oscillates with the years.  And even within hearts overwhelmed with evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained.  And even in the best of all hearts there remains . . . an uprooted small corner of evil” (The Gulag Archipelago part iv, chapter I)

Bin Laden is dead...but evil...is not simply "out there"...evil is in me.  Paul says this in Romans 3:  “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” 

"All"....that's me, and you.  Bin Laden is dead....and I too will one day die...a sinner.  Let's not get prideful....

“All the ways of a person are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit . . . . Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit  before a fall.  It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud” (Prov. 16:2, 18-19)

So today, on the day that Osama Bin Laden was killed by U.S. Military forces....I do not rejoice.  I don't, because of what God says to Israel...who rejected him (Ezekiel 33:11): 

"Say to them, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?"

Instead I will try to resist my urge to goat and allow my heart to take pleasure in death.  I will instead try to be obedient to Proverbs 24:17

"Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice..."

So I will lament.  Lament that I...and you...are sinner, in desperate need of mercy.  Lament that we live in a world where terrorists murder...and death, anyones death, is a constant and ugly reminder that things are not as they were made to be.


Jesus said, "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:44-45)

So I will pray.  Pray that God helps me love my countries' enemies...



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