With the time difference (six hours ahead) and no live TV here so no news broadcasters to break into the one TV show Jonathan and Adriana occasionally watch, we didn't find out about the Bin Laden killing until about two hours ago, and only because I decided to check email this morning and saw the news post.
I am both relieved and troubled. This man's actions have caused enormous suffering in the world. Not just the destruction on US soil, but the aftermath, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the loss of so many lives and the growing crisis of confidence in this country. One man, surrounded by like-minded followers, who were willing to sacrifice their lives for their cause, changed the course of the world radically.
That same description could be used for Jesus. But Bin Laden was willing to send others to death while keeping his own life, while Jesus was willing to go to his own death so that others could live.
I admit it, I'm glad Bin Laden is dead. But I'm not so naive as to think that someone won't rise to take his place. Or multiple someones. We cannot eliminate evil by violence, no matter how necessary this violence probably was. I'm in total agreement that wickedness must be addressed but I think it is best addressed by transformation of life and soul and heart, not by murder, terrorism, and fear.
I come back to this little household in London. Saturday night, all four children spent the night at Adriana's sister's house so Jonathan and Adriana could celebrate their eighth anniversary of their introduction and so Granny, i.e., me, would not have the challenge of getting the little ones here to bed alone.
Last night, all four spent the night here so Ian and Rocio could have a late evening out. Today is a bank holiday in London, so schools are still out, so no problem if they got less sleep than usual. I woke this morning to the sounds of happy voices playing as the cousins do so enjoy each other's company.
Turnabout, fair play, we give and take, you give and take. It all works when the give and take is done with love and connection and hope. When the turnabout is you murder and then I murder, the end result is more murder. Neither cycle, either the one done in love and connection nor the one done in hatred and retribution, has a defined ending point. But both have defined effects, and both will transform the world, one for good and one for evil.
What we need are more peole who are like Bin Laden's disciples but instead of being willing to sacrifice their lives for evil are willing to lay down their lives for good.