Monday, May 2, 2011

The Friction Within

Ok...everyone's talking about it. And now...I'm going there, too.

Osama bin Laden is dead.

I'll be honest, my initial reaction was relief. I'm thankful for the fact that one more threat to our safety has been removed.

 My next reaction? Fear. What's going to happen now? Usually, killing only leads to more killing. Is this going to be another horrific cycle?

The uncertainty is what makes me tense.

Finally, I saw an outpouring of jubilation on Facebook and Twitter. Everyone was euphoric; their delight was evident for all the world to see. The words I read made me sick to my stomach. How outraged were we, as Americans, when we saw people dancing in the streets after the attacks on 9/11? How incensed were we when someone (gasp!) threw a shoe at the then-president? So many Americans were essentially doing that same thing just last night.

All of this puts me in a tough position. I am thankful for the servicemen and women who are working day and night to protect our country. I am thankful that we have one less threat to worry about. Yet I am saddened to see such rejoicing among Americans. How can we be so callous that we are happy to see that someone suffered a violent death?

Last night, I saw many people that were completely heartless. Some of those people were the same ones who claim to follow Christ. Is it just me, or is that in opposition to Christ's teachings? The book of Romans tells us not to repay "evil for evil," to "live at peace with everyone." We should even bless those who persecute us. That's right..."Don't curse them; pray that God will bless them" (Romans 12:14). 

I cannot change the world; I cannot change others' opinions. 
I can change mine. I can change me.

Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.

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