I opened my newspaper this morning and immediately saw the headline that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. A picture below the headline showed United States citizens rejoicing in the streets in Washington, D.C. The news and the jubilant reaction gave me pause.
I read coverage in several different papers and was thankful that most provided a brief history of Bin Laden‘s life, including his participation in the Afghan fight against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. U.S. hatred and fear of the Soviets played a major role in the decision to arm what were then termed “freedom fighters.” Bin Laden was our ally in hatred of a common enemy. These were seeds sown of hate and, like all seeds, it produced an abundance of that same bitter emotion in the fertile ground where it was sown.
Some 30 years later hate seeds continue to be sown. The U.S. hates al-Qaida and the Taliban and anyone else it deems terrorists. Our enemies hate us in return. We rejoice when enemy number 1, Osama Bin Laden, is killed—heaping hate on his now lifeless head.
As a Christ-follower I find myself thinking back to the admonition to pray for my enemies and to live in peace. “Blessed are the peacemakers,” Jesus said. I don’t recall him saying anything about rejoicing in the death of any person, not even my arch-enemy—the one who has killed and maimed and terrified friends and family.
Seeds of hate will only bring us more hate.
I pray today for peace; I pray for enemies and friends alike; I pray for all those who call themselves Christian to heed the call to light and love. Walk the extra mile. Give blessings when curses fall on our heads.
Sow seeds of love.
My friends over at The Simple Living Network have an excellent article about the proposed (and soon to be reality) rebates from our federal government. Our politicians have apparently forgotten all the basics of financial security. One of those basics is that borrowing money and going into debt do not improve your financial situation. Somehow taxpayers allow themselves to be bamboozled into thinking this is “free” money. It’s not free, you and I will be paying for it, via taxes, one way or another at some time. Remember, there is no free lunch, especially when it comes from the government!
They have some excellent ideas on what to do with that rebate when it shows up on your doorstep. These things will do more to improve your personal financial well-being and the national economy than going out and buying something you probably don’t need:
- Pay down high interest credit cards or other debts.
- Put your rebate in a savings account.
- Donate your rebate to those working to end poverty, promote environmental responsibility, peace, justice, or equal rights for all.
If you must buy something, purchase goods and services that support your local economy or save money, energy and resources in the end:
- Locally grown fruits and vegetables
- Fluorescent light bulbs
- Water heater blankets
- Water saving showerheads
- Insulation (and a local, self-employed contractor to install it)
- Don’t stop: do the same with your 2007 tax refund.