on waking up to today’s news

Being in the UK, I got the news about Osama bin Ladin’s death earlier than a lot of folks in the States. The news here showed President Obama making the announcement, and then shifted to American college students reveling outside the White House, shouting, chanting “USA” and spilling beer. I flipped through channels and saw the same scene repeated.
I can only say that this image does not reflect well on my country, especially in contrast to the images that have been so strong here in recent days … revelers celebrating a wedding.
Joyfully celebrating the killing of a killer who joyfully celebrated killing carries an irony that I hope will not be lost on us. Are we learning anything, or simply spinning harder in the cycle of violence?
I just got this email from an American friend:

… When I received the news of his death, I must confess that my primary emotion was not excitement, but sadness…deep sadness that his life did not reflect reflect God’s intent for the world…deep sadness as I anticipated the rhetoric that awaited me on Facebook, the internet, and TV.
I do not understand a world that allows for a man to cause so much pain and I do not understand a world that rejoices in the death of that man who just happens to be created in the image of God. I have no answers or alternatives, but it saddens me that the best response we have to true brokenness always seems to be death.
Perhaps everyone is right. Perhaps the death of Osama Bin Laden has made this world more safe. I do not believe, however, that his death has made this world more beautiful.

As you talk about this news, I hope you will consider how your response can counter rather than reinforce the cycles of violence that spin around us. And please God, help us bring healing beauty to the ugliness of violence in whatever small way we can. Today.