Osama bin Laden and The Heartbreak of God

2 May

Today I am mourning the loss of the image of God stamped into the heart of a man that the world never saw.

Every creation bears the signature of its Creator on their heart. As you and I both were handcrafted by the one true and living God, so was Osama bin Laden. He had the image of God within him, yet he never came to know the truth that he was a child of God. Since he lived his life in deception, he lived out the destiny the enemy had for his life rather than the beautiful plans that God had for him. I’m saddened that we never got to see what Osama was created to do here in this world.

Though I do not condone his actions, support his beliefs, or think he should go unpunished, I find it hard to celebrate when I know that my Abba Father is mourning not only the death of His child, but also the eternal separation from him.

Throughout scripture the loving character of our God is revealed countless times.

Matthew 5:43-48 says, 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Jesus tells us we must love our enemies. But the Bible goes further than that.

In Proverbs 24:17, we are commanded, 17 “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; 
   when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice.”

Ezekiel 33:11 reads, ‎”I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.”

While I sympathize with those who have lost loved ones in our nation due to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the following war on terror in the middle east, and I can’t image the pain they have experienced, I can also see the faces of others suffering. Surely Osama has a mother, a brother, a sister, a friend… Their hearts must also be shattered. I don’t want to tell anyone they are not entitled to grieve. This whole mess is tragic. I just think that we must not forget to be honorable in the face of dishonor.

I think this beautiful quote articulates my feelings more clearly than I ever could:

‎”I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

The call is clear. The Lord has raised the bar for His people. We must love, even when it is hard. Jesus died for Osama bin Laden. Jesus loved him and called him His child. And so will I.

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7 Responses to “Osama bin Laden and The Heartbreak of God”

  1. La Vonne May 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    Amen!

  2. matthewlasnyder May 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    this was a fantastic post, erika! may we continue to pray peace over all. amen and amen.

  3. Uriah May 2, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    I have actually been struggling with this question today. You raise a good point that we ought to mourn over the loss of life, more importantly, soul. I disagree that the Lord’s plans have been trumped by bin Laden’s death however. You say, “Since (bin Laden) lived his life in deception, he lived out the destiny the enemy had for his life rather than the beautiful plans that God had for him.” If God is all powerful, all knowing, sovereign over all things, can we rightly say that God’s plans for bin Laden were not fulfilled? If we say that “he lived out the destiny the enemy had for his life rather than the beautiful plans that God had for him” God no longer has complete control; God is unable to bring about His will. If God could not bring about His will, He is no longer sovereign.

    I have been appreciating your posts! I enjoy reading about your adventures and really seeing your heart through the stories and words that you write!

    • erikaearl May 2, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

      Uriah, I am so excited that you raised this question. This is my favorite thing to talk about. In my opinion this confusion can be traced back to our understanding about the character of God. In Jeremiah 29:11 scripture states, “11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” These are the desires of God. He wants us to prosper, to follow in His ways, and to live lives of holiness. He has, however, allowed us to have free will. To say that God’s will was carried out in the life of Osama would be to say that God desired for the terrible things he did to happen. If we believe that, we must also believe that God’s character is not all-loving and good all the time. And that’s just not what I believe about my God. 🙂 I believe that He desires us to desire holiness. So He gave us free will so we could choose to be holy and live out the plans he has for us. If we do that, we will prosper. We have a second choice, however, and sadly this is the choice Osama made. He chose to turn from God and therefore not fulfill the plans the Lord had for him.

  4. Su & Rob July 23, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Erika,

    Thank you for presenting a voice I wish was expressed by more people at the time of Osama’s death. My heart was truly saddened by the glee and boasting that came from the Christian community after the death of bin Laden.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Warning: Brain Dump « Our Family Adventures - May 3, 2011

    […] The Heartbreak of God – the comments on this one are really good too. […]

  2. Osama bin Laden and The Heartbreak of God (via Here I Am, Lord. Send Me.) « Freespeakplanet's Blog - May 11, 2011

    […] Today I am mourning the loss of the image of God stamped into the heart of a man that the world never saw. Every creation bears the signature of its Creator on their heart. As you and I both were handcrafted by the one true and living God, so was Osama bin Laden. He had the image of God within him, yet he never came to know the truth that he was a child of God. Since he lived his life in deception, he lived out the destiny the enemy had for his l … Read More […]

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