I stand, leaned against the counter tops in the kitchen, and read my Bible as I wait for the coffee maker to emit that last large sputter signaling its finish.
I slide my finger along the smooth edges of my Nook, as I read the beautiful poetry of David, in digital form. I marvel time and again how talented and committed he was to God… to my God.
So peacefully he wrote.
The coffee maker hiccups loudly, and I relish the thought of a mug steaming in my hand. Not taking my eyes off the Psalms, I reach cautiously into the cupboard above my head, groping for the cool touch of my favorite mug.
An alert pops up on my Nook, notifying me of new downloaded content ready to be read.
I finish reading the Psalm and move to the headlines of our local newspaper.
The first one nearly knocks my knees out from underneath me.
Images of my mother, crying as she met my brother and I at the door. And when we asked “Why was school canceled so suddenly?” the way she couldn’t even talk, but just hugged us close. I remember moments later, kneeling by the couch as my dad, in a quiet, sober voice, prayed for those affected by this tragedy. I remember the picture of the smoke, the one said to be untouched by the photographer, that showed the image of the devil in its billowy gray clouds.
I recall my brother asking through tears, “Are we safe?”
And how my mom had said, “We have God. So yes, we’re safe.”
But the thing that stands out the most was the amount of hatred my little 11 year old heart could harbor for this man with the name I couldn’t pronounce or remember.
In my mind, he was the devil. But more real because I could see pictures of him; pictures with unforgiving eyes and a wild beard. And I wondered with a beard his size, how long he could be in the lake of fire without it burning off.
Over the past ten years, this hatred was released. It may have had something to do with time, but now as I look back, I realize it had more to do with God.
And the realization of God’s plan of salvation.
So as I stand here, with coffee growing cold in my hand, reading the news of Osama’s death, I wish nothing more than to know that he too, came in touch with God’s truly amazing grace. I wonder if the bullet that ripped through his skull took his life instantly, or if he had time to cry out to God for forgiveness.
Undeserving of God’s grace.
Yes, Osama was all of these.
But so am I.
Because the nails weren’t what held my Savior to the cross.
It was people like me… and you… and Osama.
This is powerful. Every person deserving of death is just like me. We are all equally condemned, equally deserving. And to demand dignity? Wrong. Yet, grace…
Yes. What you said!
Fantastic Duane, I totally agree.
Now that is powerful perspective.
I was overseas on 9/11 and the only American who wasn’t pulled out of school that day. Talk about a rough situation with everyone around me saying that we deserved it. It was really hard for me not to jump up and down and join the crowds in celebration as almost vindication for ten years ago.
Thanks for sharing that Duane. I think you captured very succinctly what a lot of people have been trying to articulate and just haven’t been able to. thanks again.
Thanks! I feel for you. That must have been very difficult to stay quiet during that time. Wow. I’d love to hear the whole story.
Thanks for this Duane. Good words here. And I agree with you. That describes all of us. And no matter what we think of Osama, we all deserve the same fate. But thanks be to God that He has saved us!
Amen. That’s all I have, amen.
Duane….yes I think we all flashed back to that time when we read the headline. I remember my Mom calling, crying. I wasn’t awake yet and my friend had answered the phone….”No don’t wake her.” And they both watched the images through horrified tears.
I can surely see why everyone is rejoicing, I think it is a good day for America, but it is always a bad day anytime anyone goes to hell. We were all headed there once……Beautiful and touching, as always. Lori
Lori… It definitely is a bad day anyone has to face judgement with so much baggage.
Thanks for the comment.
I remember hearing my daughter stir, and going to her, and saying, “Come and sit with me. Something’s happened.” And we sat, on the sofa, for the longest time, trying to absorb the images and words, which had first struck me as a trailer for the worst.movie.ever.
You speak a brave truth here, Duane. Thank you.
Thank you for validating the brave truth.
I’m so grateful for Grace, because it means I’m not getting what I deserve while getting much more than I deserve.
That needs to be on a tshirt or something.
Powerful post bud.
Nicely said, Duane, thanks for sharing. It’s so much easier to personify men like Bin Laden as being “pure evil,” when the truth is they are normal people, just like you and me. Their circumstances in life may have led them down different paths, but in the end, Jesus died for them just as much as he did for each of us.
Great thoughts, Duane!
I am glad he is dead because he can’t harm anyone else. Justice was served. On the other hand, this was what my husband and I discussed the other day. Yes…we can celebrate the day an evil man was taken out. But we can also think about how very important it is for Christians to serve in the Middle East and reach out to Muslims. If the Son of a Hamas leader can come to Christ, if other leaders of terrorism can come to Christ, then there’s always hope over the bodies of martyrs who were brave enough to serve as missionaries in the Middle East and let Christ shine in that dark place.
I have to admit. I’d be terrified to be a missionary in the Middle East.
Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD,
I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked;
but that the wicked turn from his way and live:
turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways;
for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”
Well said, Duane. Well said.
God loves us all. Osama too. I hope OBL repented before he died. Because God loved him, too.
what you say is the truth.
the fight is not of flesh and bone.
this man has been killed,
his soul may belong to satan or God,
and, satan is still in the world.
the battle is spiritual and still goes on.
Don’t tell the others, but this is my favorite reply comment. 🙂
I remember sitting alone in my living room, tears streaming as I watched the rolling images… a very depressing moment in history..
Amen! Well said, Duane. My sons (16 and 18) are saddened by the celebrations of Osama’s death. Justice is so different from celebration. In the end, Osama was created by the Hand of a holy God in His very image — just like my sons, just like me. Thank you for saying what needs to be heard.
You have some fine sons there. 😉
Tell them I said so.
I was thinking along the same lines last night… Sad, that people celebrate someone’s death…
I remember September 11 too… I was home with my aunt and we were flipping the channels on TV… We glimpsed the towers but thought it was just another of Hollywood creations, clicked to the next channel… And realized that the previous one has been BBC World that does NOT have any movies. So we went back just in time to see the second plane crashing into the other tower in real time… I remember trying to furiously think whether I know anyone from New York – I’ve met people from all over the States in 19 years so I wasn’t sure…
Very good post Duane. Osama was an evil man, but no man is too evil for the saving grace of God. With that said, as evil as Osama was, we are all under the same wrath if we don’t come to Christ. Sin was atoned for, now the question is what will we do with this risen Christ? The answer to that question determined Osama’s faith and it will determine ours. I won’t go further than that.
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.” Rom. 4:7-8
*It would be easier on your eyes if you read on a Kindle. 🙂
@Moe_NYC If you buy me a Kindle, I’ll read off of it.
I heard there is a new Nook being announced on May 25th. Didn’t they just released one?
Oh my goodness! I love everything about this. So. well. written. I need to find the like button and subscribe immediately.
Dear Journey To Epiphany…
Looking forward to getting to know you.
What a great post.
People often say His people, the Jews, killed Jesus. But that’s not true – we all did, as you say.
we’re all undeserving…
Well, I guess you know how I feel, Duane. You are completely right; I deserve death just as much as OBL and anyone else. And while I know that with my heart and mind, I can’t pretend that I’m saddened over his fate but am sad, instead, knowing that God’s heart is broken. I guess it shows how much more I need the work of Jesus to cleanse my heart so that I can truly weep over a lost soul like bin Laden.
yep, the truth’s the truth.
My exact sentiments! I, too, fall short, yet I receive undeserved forgiveness through Christ. We don’t have to like OBL to wish his good.
Hallelujah! Thanks for this “brite post” (see my blog/brite for explanation)