Everyone is talking about the death of Osama Bin Laden this morning. That I am also makes me mildly sick. I could pretty happily Gibb-smack myself right now for writing this post but here I am, and I’m going to put a finger on something that is going to make a lot of people squirm but here it is.
Osama Bin Laden was not inherently evil.
Read carefully now – A man was not born, he was not created simply for the sake of evil. Did he do evil things? Uh, yeah. That one’s kind of obvious. Did he die an evil man? Yes, I’m afraid he did. But even then, at that moment when he was probably cursing the west and struggling to breathe, do I believe that Jesus was by his side saying “I’m sorry you had to go through this. I’m sorry you have to receive judgement.”?
Do I believe that Bin Laden was an evil or wicked man and has been judged for the evil he has brought to this world? Yes, absolutely, and I can’t tell you how glad I am that I didn’t have to sit in the courtroom and watch the trial because here’s a simple truth that you aren’t going to like.
God loves Osama Bin Laden just as much as He loves Mother Teresa. Despite everything that Bin Laden did, the Father was right there saying “Stop. Just stop and come to me. Let me love you.” And I don’t like thinking about that because it means that it must have hurt the Father to judge him.
I don’t like thinking about it because the man we consider to be a modern incarnation of evil was a kid once playing soccer in the empty sandlot. He too was knit together in his mother’s womb by the hand of the Creator.
And if he is capable of going from childish innocence to heinous evil, then aren’t we all?
Every person has in them the capability for great good or great evil and every person, no matter how good, has it in them to fall from one into the other. We like talking about rising out of evil and slavery to sin to serve a good and loving God, but the opposite is equally possible.
I want to say that this is a great day for the free world… whatever that means. I want to say that justice has been served and that there are souls that can now rest in peace. But I can’t. A child of God will never enter paradise because of the pain he felt that cause him to act the way he did. A child of God will never sit at his Father’s table because he listened to whispers in dark corners of the night instead of the voice of truth and hope.
How can I celebrate the forces of Hell winning another soul?