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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Grief and Osama Bin Laden

It's been an interesting couple of weeks.  Today is Mother's Day and I feel beyond blessed to still have my mother.  She is probably the strongest example of unconditional love that I have ever seen.  She definitely has more patience than I do!   It still amazes me how much she really sees people.  I'd like to think that I've inherited some of that.

Of course, I have friends who have lost their mothers. Mother's Day is not a good day for everyone. I always remind myself that I need to make room for those who are grieving without judging or rushing them through it.  How can you tell someone how to react to something like that or how long it should take without sounding self-righteous and insensitive?

Mother's Day can be more complicated than we give it credit for.

Which brings me to the death of Osama Bin Laden. Strange segue, I know. Could he have been taken alive?  Possibly.  Or maybe some SEALS would have died and he would have been killed anyway.  But I am uncomfortable with the idea of shooting an unarmed man. I struggle to see so many rejoicing at his death.  Is a fair trial a right we only give to those we think deserve it? As much as some don't want to think about it, there are people grieving the loss of Bin Laden not due to political reasons but because he is part of their family. Not all of his children were grown. His 12-year old daughter has to live with seeing her father shot dead in front of her. Just like the 12-year old victims of the terrorist attacks have to live with their own grief for parents that were taken away from them. None of these children  had anything to do with the quarrel between Al-Qaeda and the United States.

As a Christian, how do I respect the grief of the family members killed in the terrorist attacks and the grief of those who think the attacks were justified?  How can I be compassionate towards the 9/11 scars to the American psyche and use that same compassion to listen to the grievances of Al-Qaeda, the same group we supported with money and weapons when the Russians were in Afghanistan? The command to love God, myself and my neighbor as myself doesn't quite seem to cover this.

I don't have an answer to these question but I do know this: The death of Osama Bin Laden is going to have more consequences than what we give it credit for.

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