Friday morning was one of the few times I let my kids watch the news. In fact, I encouraged it. Why? Because instead of tornadoes, earthquakes and floods, two people were getting married! A princess was being made. Everywhere, mothers and daughters were gathering together for tea and scones, to wear hats and watch two people begin their lives together. My Facebook feed was burning up with mothers remembering the wedding of Diana and Charles and how they watched it with their mothers. Selfishly, I wanted the same thing with my daughter, so I wrapped my arms around her, turned her to the TV and said, "Look, Princess, she's a REAL princess. She married a real prince and this is their first kiss on the balcony of their palace!" What could be more romantic and fairy tale than that?
(My son, however, was less than thrilled. He kept trying to change the channel because it was boring. I refused, saying that this ONE TIME, I was going to watch history in the making and HAPPY history at that!)
By Sunday, however, the news was off again.
I agree with the Vatican's official statement: "Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of everyone before God and man, and hopes and pledges that every event is not an opportunity for a further growth of hatred, but of peace.” I will admit that there is no love lost between me and Osama. I'm glad he cannot hurt anyone anymore. I fear for the backlash that might come.
I don't think anyone should be in the streets celebrating. I understand the relief that might come- Oh, good, he's dead. That means my loved one can come home safe and sound. Honestly,though, the troops aren't going to come home overnight. Although Osama is dead, there are still others out there, waiting. There are still problems to be solved, people to help. Will it happen? Yes, some of our troops will come home because of this. Will all of them come home? No. Some will stay because, as I said, there is still work to be done.
I've been toodling around the Catholic blog-o-sphere again and I enjoyed this post from Tabris. She raises a good point: Did you pray for Osama's conversation? Are you praying for his soul?
Oh, don't look at me like that. Read her blog. She makes an excellent point. While his man was full of hatred, he wasn't born evil. He became evil. However, that doesn't mean his soul was beyond God's healing power. He could have turned his life around. It would have been hard, but not impossible for NOTHING is impossible with God. It would have had long term ramifications, possibly even lethal ones, but he would have died right with God.
Not that he didn't. Someone once told me that you never know what a person thinks in the last second of their life and it is possible they begged for, and received, forgiveness. You should always assume someone is in heaven, rather than accidentally damn them to hell, because it is only up to God to judge,
Now, before you get your panties in a wad and leave me flame messages about how I think Osama is in heaven, I don't. I'm just sayin' that I think his soul needs our prayers, that God may use His wise, just and infinite powers to judge Osama according to His will. And while I like everyone else likes to think I know what God's will in this situation is, I don't. I don't know.
I do know that God is wise, just, merciful and does everything according to His will and His will is always perfect.
In the end, the only thing I can do is to remind myself that every life is sacred. Every life has a purpose and meaning. While I would have liked to have seen Osama brought to justice, I trust that the soldiers used their best judgement in what was a tough, tense and unimaginable situation.
In the end, like the blogger pointed out, we need to pray. Pray for:
The victims of 9/11;
all those hurt by Osama, both directly and indirectly;
the soldiers who found him- for peace and healing as it cannot be easy to take the life of another human, no matter how evil;
the governments to use their wise and prudent judgement in the days to come;
and for Osama, that God may be merciful.
Tomorrow, like today, the news shows will be off. People are calling to see his body and I refuse to allow my children to view horrific images of a dead body. I know they will hear about these events and I will explain in simple terms who he was and what happened. I will remind them that yes, Osama was horrible and did some bad things but it is up to God to judge, not us.
They have many years to watch the news, to understand the horrors of this world, to know how complecated this situation is. But they have only a few years to be protected, to watch only the wonderful weddings on TV, to know mostly joy.