Monday, May 2, 2011

my thoughts on that thing everyone is talking about

I was going to post a baby update, with my cute bump and stats on how the little one is as big as an avocado. But I think that will wait, because I have too many other thoughts and emotions swirling around to not get them out.

But at the same time, you think: should I talk about it? Osama Bin Laden has been declared dead and everyone is sharing their opinion. Making jokes and quoting bible verses about praying for your enemy. Does what I have to say even make sense?

Probably not, but getting it out of me could do some good, right?

I was watching the news last night when the story broke. First, there was buzz about the President making an impromptu statement. Then, buzz that Bin Laden was dead. An hour later, Obama came on to confirm what the world had been celebrating already. And I cried.

I was 15 years old when the 9/11 attacks happened. I was sitting in my biology class when the principal came in and whispered to our teacher to turn on the news. We watched it for the rest of the day and I just remember that it didn't make sense. I didn't understand what the World Trade Center was. I didn't understand why terrorists had intentionally flown into the buildings. I didn't understand what was happening. The adults in my life were sad and scared and somber, but I didn't get it. It didn't make sense to me.

But the thing that made me so emotional last night is the realization that all I remember about our country and our goverment is that we've been at war. For the last ten years, the images have become so commonplace. It's on the news every night because it's been our life for the last decade. And it's all I remember.

When Andrew and I went to NYC for Christmas this past year, we visited the 9/11 Tribute Center. It was one of the most incredible things I've experienced. I walked through the small building, looking at pictures and reading quotes and seeing pieces of the wreckage, with tears just pouring down, because for the first time in my life I was feeling what most adults felt on the day the attack happened. It made sense now. I realized how much we all lost that day.

I read an article this morning that the death of Bin Laden is a "psychological triumph" for Americans. His death doesn't mean that all of the troops can now rush home and we can declare this war over. It certainly doesn't make us any safer, does it? But I have to believe that with the justice that happened yesterday, things can maybe start to change for the better. Maybe? Hope?

So there's that.

And then the other thing that I'm feeling, is confusion over the celebration. I wouldn't consider myself a make-love-not-war kind of girl. I think war, unfortunately, is necessary at times. And (don't judge) but I also agree with what my dad says when he watches the movie Open Range: some people just need killin'. But I can't believe that God is delighting in the fact that he is now permanently separated from one of his children. I just can't think that he's cheering about that outcome. I heard someone say that the only difference between Paul and Bin Laden is the conversion. Truth, right?

And then bundled up in all of that are thoughts of this sweet child that I'm carrying. How do you protect them from the hatred out there, without shielding from the truth so much that they're naive? How do you teach them love, without misleading them to think that the world is good? Because it kind of isn't.

It's heavy stuff, people.

But that's where I'm at.

4 friends said...:

  1. Stephanie GagnonMay 2, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    One of the most thoughtful things I've read about all of this. I think you captured a lot of 20-something's sentiments.

  2. I cried too, but I think I cried because the celebration scared me. I don't like the idea of rejoicing over the death of anyone, even one so despised. I appreciate your candor on the subject.

  3. Very thoughtful post! I'm struggling with this as well. I'm so thankful for the fact that one more threat to our safety is gone. On the other hand, I'm appalled that people are celebrating the horrific death of a human. The man may have been evil, but he was flesh and blood just like us. On top of all that, I'm scared for the future. Let's face it...killing leads to more killing.

  4. I was glad to read this. Why aren't we seeing more along these lines? Here is something I did notice from the Christian Science Monitor, but your post is equally moving. Thanks.


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