I remember where I was September 11, 2001. I remember the shock, grief and tears of that day. Tears of prayer and intercession for those in the midst of the tragedy and for their loved ones. I remember the sense of impending doom and I remember the peace of God.
In the days and months that followed I had more tears–tears for Osama Bin Laden. God’s love in me prayed for him with the same tears and fervency I have had for many others over the years—because the Spirit of God makes no distinctions between us. We love with a human sense of right and wrong. We categorize who deserves to be loved and who is a little less worthy of it.
God’s love and justice are perfect, He is able to love completely and completely hate the vile acts that all of us are capable of.
Today I went about weeping. I wondered about the man so many had come to hate. I wondered if he ever heard that God loved him, really heard.
I wondered if times were tumultuous growing up, or if some childhood agonies were never rocked to sleep. I wondered at all the things that shape an arrow bent on destruction.
I mourned for a man who, somewhere along the path of parting childish ways and waking up in a bitter cold world, chose hatred instead of trust. I wonder when the hatred will end. Some things are hard to understand. Love, justice, forgiveness and mercy are all pious platitudes until they are tethered to the traumas that tear us apart.
I don’t write this to make light of the horrendous suffering terrorism inflicts, or minimize the relief some are sensing. I don’t write this to discredit the God-ordained role governments have in guarding and protecting their citizens and administering justice. And I don’t pretend to know how it all works together.
I write this because a little brown-skinned boy, who stooped to rub sand from the scrapes in his knees as God bent down to kiss his cheek with the desert sun so many years ago, will never again see that same sun set; or have another chance to know what mercy there was in that caress.