Monday, May 2, 2011

Justice but still pain... in pursuit of peace

Having lived in New York state and on Long Island, I can only imagine the celebration of the justice in finding and ending the life of Osama bin Laden.  Certainly the lives of the thousands who died, were wounded, the emergency personnel, and their heirs have cried out for justice against this cowardly act of terrorism.  There is a certain sense of joy in the death of the planner whose violence entered into our own land and has forever marked our lives.

That said, even the dead of bin Laden will not end the fear and uncertainty that has plagued our nation since.  While we can be proud and patriotic at this moment, we know the security systems will still confront us every time we want to fly across this country or the world.  We will fear every time a car sits strangely idle too long or a briefcase or piece of luggage is found or a piece of mail is opened and dust spills out.  Our country was relatively immune to these kinds of fears -- even though the rest of the world knew them only too well.  September 11, 2001, changed all that.  We could no longer deny or be distracted from the hate born violence that knows no boundaries and seems impossible both to predict or to prevent.  In essence, our country and our people grew up very quickly to the reality of fear, to the evil that seeks destruction at any cost, and to the minds whose only focus is on violence.  We will never return to the way we were -- not even celebrating the death of bin Laden will restore our sense of innocence.

For the Christian, fear has a salutary outcome when it drives us into the God of peace who alone can set our hearts at rest.  That peace was spoken once to Thomas whose fears had nearly chocked off his faith and we came to God's House yesterday to hear it spoken again to our fearful hearts.  If there be any peace that will carry us through the dark night of our fears or end the restless sleep our worries interrupt, it will flow from the peace, the perfect peace, of Christ.  For now we will rejoice that justice has come at long last but we will not forget that the arms of our Savior provide our only refuge and peace, both now and forevermore.

1 When aimless violence takes those we love,
When random death strikes childhood's promise down,
When wrenching loss becomes our daily bread,
We know, O God, You leave us not alone.

2 When passing years rob sight and strength and mind
Yet fail to still a strongly beating heart,
And grief becomes the fabric of our days,
Dear Lord, You do not stand from us apart.

3 Our faith may flicker low, and hope grow dim,
Yet You, O God, are with us in our pain;
You grieve with us and for us day by day,
And with us, sharing sorrow, will remain.

4 Because Your Son knew agony and loss,
Felt desolation, grief and scorn and shame,
We know You will be with us, come what may,
Your loving presence near, always the same.

5 Through long, grief-darkened days help us, dear Lord,
To trust Your grace for courage to endure,
To rest our souls in Your supporting love,
And find our hope within Your mercy sure.


ErnestO said...

I confess that upon hearing of Bin Laden being eliminated by our military that my first thought was of pride and my second was of good riddance.

Then came the reminder of Jesus' command to pray for enemies. My prayer life is not developed nearly enough to pray for such a man as Bin Laden or his minions. So I will start by asking God to give me the strength of faith and knowledge of kingdom thinking to do so.

Unknown said...

If you believe Obama then you trust Osama