“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.” – Marianne Williamson
Osama bin Laden is dead. This announcement greeted the world yesterday morning. The typical Monday-morning cobwebs were abruptly shaken loose as our attention became focused on the breaking news.
As an American, I remember exactly where I was and I what I doing on September 11, 2001. I remember being shocked, afraid and then angry. The world I once knew was gone forever. I felt sad for this loss, and sadder for the loss of life.
Today, I’m not sure how to feel.
I want to celebrate that justice has been served, but it’s hard to be joyful when I know more injustice is coming. And while I want to believe the world will return to the way it was before 9/11, I know this will not happen.
bin Laden saw to it terror would thrive after his death. He made sure our souls were becoming more jaded, distrustful and aware to the presence of evil everyday.
Because of him, our anxiety heightens when we travel. After removing our belts, shoes and personal belongings from our pockets, we scour the airplane looking for the suspicious; the evil. An eerie restlessness fills us until we land safely.
I want to celebrate bin Laden’s death, but it’s hard to be joyful about this as well. He was probably once held and cherished by his father, like I’ve done with my children. His father may have looked at him and saw only beauty. But something happened along the way and Satan was able to claim another soul. There’s no joy in this.
Maybe the proper response is to celebrate with the families who have the closure they deserve and at the same time allow our souls to grieve – not in the loss of this one man, but in the loss of everyone who trusts less, worries more and lives with brittle faith about the fate of the world.
Sometimes the simple path to a proper response can’t be found in the black and white world of love versus hate but somewhere in the middle. It is in this place where the questions we asked today are based on the things we simply rent in this world because the final answers aren’t revealed until we move into the next one.
So, I will leave the grieving of Osama bin Laden’s soul to God. May His will be done.
As for my soul, I will let it dance and cry until it grows tired. Afterwards, I will tend to its brittle faith with the answers I have today. These are the answers that tell me the proper response is to be mindful of evil and at the same time soak in the love I have been given in this world – and then wait with sweet anticipation for the day I land safely in the world that is waiting.
What is A Simple Path?
This post is in A Simple Path, a series of short pieces inspired by my own life experiences. Each post is a simple path to experiencing something wonderful: maybe seeing life from a different perspective, or celebrating its beauty. Click here to read all posts in the series.