I was on the phone with the TV muted last night, when the words on the bottom of the screen changed to USAMA BIN LADEN CONFIRMED DEAD. Goosebumps pricked up all over, and a sense of anticipation rose within me. I yelled the news to my mother over the phone, and we hung up as she ran towards her television to turn on the news.
Ten years. We have lost thousands of innocent civilians and military troops at the hands of this man. Americans and the world have lived in fear daily because of him. My husband is away fighting a war because of his influence. And now he’s dead. Finally.
I am “happy.” I am “joyful.” I am “relieved.” Unashamedly so. Many are criticizing others for their celebratory attitude. Bible verses posted about not taking pleasure in the death of the wicked, the negativity of a Christian rejoicing in another man’s death are all over Facebook. I felt compelled to respond.
Yes, I am thrilled this man is dead. I am relieved that someone who took joy out of destroying others as violently as possible has been stopped. I wanted to grab my American Flag and run down the road cheering last night. I am so proud of the group of Soldiers who fought a fire fight with this evil man and his henchmen, and not one of them fell in the process. Thank God. I am even more proud of my husband and our military friends who have played a long and vital role in finally gaining this victory. I am proud–so proud–to be an American today.
I guess it’s just different for me. My husband and his peers have been putting their lives on the line for ten years to ensure this man’s capture. Countless lives have been lost. I rejoice that a man who stopped at nothing to kill others has met with justice. This is not to be confused with taking joy from a man’s death.
At the same time that I am digging through and pulling out my patriotic and military wife shirts and am planning mini-celebrations with friends, I have a cold fear for this man’s soul. At the moment of death and that opportunity to repent for his numerous and grave sins, likely he will not do so. I pity him. I almost feel sorry for him, for the eternal fate he is meeting.
No, I do not rejoice in a man’s death. I fear for his soul. I celebrate that a man of evil has met with justice. After ten years and countless lives lost, we have achieved a great victory, in that a man who was a catalyst for thousands of deaths, separations of families for nearly ten years, and a daily fear for Americans and those around the world has been killed. While an attitude of “responding with love” is a Christ-like response most of the time, Jesus too grew justly angry at times, and acted justly as well.
So, while I pray he repented in his final moments, I unashamedly rejoice in the elimination of a threat to our peace, safety, and security. I celebrate the annihilation of a man who worked tirelessly to kill thousands. I am so proud of our troops stationed around the world who all played a vital role in achieving this victory, especially those separated from their loved ones.
God bless America, and God bless our Soldiers.