I’m not Catholic, but I love this prayer.
If Asher were old enough to ask me today about a man who was dead, a man who had killed so many, a man that believed that he was right, if Asher asked me if it was ok that this man was dead, I have no earthly idea what I would say to him.
No, it is not.
Yes, it is. (but really, it’s not.)
(but for some, maybe it is?)
I will never hit my son to teach him that hitting is wrong, but I similarly will never tolerate him demonstrating intolerance. I believe that I understand right from wrong, justice from injustice, hate from love. I really do think that I know those things, but when I heard that Osama Bin Laden was dead, I felt equal parts relief and sadness. Don’t get me wrong there, I’m not especially sad that OBL lost his life, but I’m sad that as humans we do things that will put me in the position of one day explaining to my son that killing is wrong, but that the way that this country wants to serve justice for killing is through death. I’m sad that at some point my child will realize that there is light, and there is darkness.
I don’t say things like, “that person deserved to die”, but at my core this morning listening to the news, whether I wanted it to or not, my brain said, “I’m glad that man is dead”. I don’t know how I’ll have that conversation with Asher one day, I really don’t know what I’ll say, I am not able to sort out my feelings for myself, let alone for a child. Truthfully, I’m embarrassed that I am not storming out of the gates saying THIS IS RIGHT, THIS IS WRONG…because while I know that I don’t believe in an eye for an eye, I would also never be able to look into the eyes of a mother that lost a child on September 11th and say that I knew anything about what should be done in the world or that I really had an understanding of justice at all.
I do know that I would want to hug her, to tell her that I pray for peace, to tell her that we as a country remember, and to maybe say silently to myself…it was hate that got us here. And that I will do everything in my power not to perpetuate that cycle.
“Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.”
-Laurens van der Post