Everyone knows by now… confirmed by President Obama, Osama bin Laden is dead. The world reacts…, many with jubilation, some with fear and others with resentment. Almost ten years later, a chapter is finally closed for many Americans.
But how are we as Christian parents to respond ?
I wouldn’t dare presume to tell you how to answer the questions certain to come from your kids about this, but here are some things to consider.
1- Osama bin-Laden was an evil man, guilty of great acts of terror and injustice. His involvement with the murder of thousands on 9-11 has symbolized the hatred and pain of millions around the world. His capture and death represents justice for those he murdered and threatened and maimed.
2- The price of Freedom is high, and with the death of Osama bin-Laden, it is clear that Americans may face more threats and even future attacks, but the principles of Justice and Freedom remain. Those values and beliefs demand that we proceed in actively protecting ourselves against such violent men and their obvious evil. Regardless of the threat of further danger or acts of terror, we cannot live controlled by fear and avoid confronting evil… or the principle of terror wins.
3 – God is a God of Justice. There are many in-justices in our lives, many wrongs. But in the end it is the Christian’s belief and hope that there is a personal God who is aware, and involved and concerned. It is the way of God to bring justice to the oppressed and to bring freedom to those in captivity. The nearly ten-year man-hunt for bin-Laden that resulted in his death is symbolic of the Christians belief in the relentless nature of God’s justice. It may take years, or decades before it is seen, but God is indeed at work behind the scenes, righting every wrong and redeeming every loss.
4- Hatred is always a temptation that must be resisted. As a Christian, we are commanded to love our friends and our enemies. That love is impossible to create on our own, but comes from the deepest understanding of our own fallen nature and God’s willingness to forgive our own sins. Our kids need to know, forgiveness is essential to seek in the face of being wronged by others. That does not mean we ignore the need for Justice or the divine nature and inspiration of our law and order. It does mean that we as parents should model forgiveness and wisdom in our own responses to personal injustice and conflict.
In the end, this story is a powerful reminder of the nature of justice and perseverance and good overcoming evil. It is a story of villans and heroes, of sacrifice and loss and of justice and redemption. It is our personal and national story and we must be willing and proud to share it with the next generation so the lessons are not lost and the truth is always in front of us.
Parents, God bless you in your struggle to help your families follow after the faith and values you hold so dear. Here is to “keeping it on the road and in-between the lines” !