I usually refrain from stating much about politics on this blog or in my job in general. I take it for granted that most of the world has a love/hate relationship with the US and American patriotism is generally frowned upon. As an American living overseas, I have seen one too many pulpits turned into opportunities for America-bashing or personal political discourses, so I usually keep my mouth shut when it comes to politics. But the recent world events seem to beg some sort of a response.
I don’t have a catchy verse to quote like the millions of people who inundated facebook yesterday with their scripture of choice as though they were well-versed on the topic and hadn’t just googled “Bible” “just” and “death” like the rest of us. No, I don’t have a verse and I won’t attempt to put my own Biblical spin on this. This is simply my thoughts.
September 11 and the attacks on my country effected my generation in ways that the rest of the world will never understand. It has shaped our lives in so many ways big and small - from the amount of liquids allowed on an airplane to the sons and brothers and friends deployed in Iraq and killed in combat. So frustration and anger are easily aroused when people who have never stepped foot in America attempt to tell us what an appropriate response to 9/11 should be or give us some sort of trite sermon on loving our enemies.
History tells of countless countries or peoples with tragedies on even greater scales than 9/11. But while generations before ours had a country or a name for their enemy, we had only a face, the face of a man taunting us with videos of morbid discourses from desert caves. Now that face is gone away forever. And so I do feel some closure, some sense of completion. Justice has been served and in that, there is peace and there is rejoicing.
But there is another part of me that feels sadness. Sadness at the death of a human being eternally separated from Jesus Christ. Sadness for the millions upon millions of people like him who live their lives believing a lie, people who live under oppressive regimes and veils of deception denied even the opportunity to hear or encounter the Truth. And finally sadness that for most Americans their interest in that part of the world and the darkness that enfolds it will die along with this man. That when all of this quiets down again, they will think of that region of the world only when in line at the gas pump or going through airport security.
I look forward to the day when we can speak about that part of the world with hope instead of hurt and blessings instead of curses and when, for the people there, the Truth is no longer an enemy to be hated or a force to be feared but a choice to be made, freely available to all.