Last night a celebration exploded on my Twitter feed. As the news of Osama bin Laden’s death spread across the internet, fellow Tweeps joined in with thoughtful words, jokes, and conspiracy theories. In the midst of the jubilation, a few Tweets broke through commenting on the morbidity of our celebrations. I met these comments with a mixture of understanding and irritation.
I too wondered aloud to Hubby, how could I be this joyful about the killing of a human being? The sentiment runs counter to my faith, my morals, my upbringing, which teach me to value life. I abhor the death penalty, and I have never been the type of person to seek revenge. A woman last night died being used as a human shield during the raid. Was I celebrating that too? Or was I only joyous that no American lives had been lost?
Yet, last night as the news broke, I felt a deep sense of relief, as a giant collective breath was released across our country. Ten years ago, our country was attacked. Not the World Trade Center. Not New York City. Our entire country. Whether or not you lost someone as the towers fell, you felt the loss. I lived the fear of my brother heading off to fight two separate wars, and I still experience the uneasiness of wondering when or if he may go back. I cried as he lost friends in roadside bombs. In different ways, we all experienced the attack, and we all have paid the price.
Still, as I said my prayers last night in bed, I couldn’t thank God for this small man’s death. Nor could I pray for Osama’s soul. Instead, as I drifted off to sleep, I spoke the only prayer that made sense to my heart, ‘Thy will be done.’ We’re still a long way from that one.