Many cheered hearing the news of bin Laden’s death. Certainly he was a target for much grief. Years of his life were committed to creating terror for those who didn’t hold his beliefs. There was a time when I would have joined the cheering. I would have been one of the first to raise a drink to the passing of a man attributed with so much evil.
For some reason I can’t.
I have likened bin Laden to Paul the Apostle. They both persecuted the church, they both were considered evil for their acts stemming from their beliefs. I think I might have had in the back of my mind that he would become a Christian. I think my hope was that one day we would hear an amazing story of his conversion that would shake the church like it was shaken during Paul’s missionary movement in the early church.
As a Christian and a pastor, I understand being committed to your beliefs. I always want to be committed to hope, despite what life looks like for others. So while I understand the celebration of the end of his commitment to terror, I can’t help but feel compassion.