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Mirror, mirror on the wall ...

     The surprising, violent, exciting, troubling, bravely-accomplished, long-promised, frustrating, weirdly scary, widely celebrated and/or anxiety-producing death of Osama bin Laden holds a mirror for each of us.

     During this past week, we have heard, read and watched the news unfold.  We have discussed it with family, friends and perhaps strangers.  We have discovered complicated reactions within ourselves.

     For most of us there has been a succession of thoughts, feelings and reactions.  We have listened as commentators commented, analysts analyzed and pundits chattered.    

     This event allows us to look in a unique sort of mirror.  This is an opportunity to examine ourselves and learn more about ourselves.  My own reactions have posed questions which are difficult to answer.  As my answers shift and change, I see new parts of my own heart, mind and soul.


Why am I both excited and horrified by news of this death, and fascinated by descriptions of the military operation which accomplished it?

Was this amazing, complex action on the part of Navy SEALS a legal act of war?

What makes a person brave enough to be part of this specialized team of Navy personnel?

Does the death of Osama bin Laden bring closure to those who lost a loved on on September 11?  What is closure? 

Is this death an example of Justice Being Done or Revenge Being Accomplished?  Does this distinction matter?

Does this death protect against future violence or does it guarantee future violence?

Is it disloyal to those killed and harmed on September 11 to be dismayed by dancing in the streets in celebration of bin Laden's death? 

Is is disloyal to those killed and harmed on September 11 to dance in the streets in celebration of the death of bin Laden?

Am I safer now?

Is bin Laden so important the whole world takes note of his death?  Would this please him?

Have we hurt or helped his movement with this action?

What does it mean that political 'spinning' so quickly reduces this decision on the part of President Obama to poll numbers?

Am I so partisan I welcome the 'bin Laden bump' in approval for President Obama in a way I never would if it had benefited a president I didn't admire? 

Has this assassination reopened the debate about the use of torture to obtain information from prisoners?

If greater acceptance of torture is the price for bin Laden's death, was his death worth the price?

Can any act of violence ever settle things?

What would Jesus say?  Is this my first question or my last question?  


The mirror continues to show me new images and dimensions of myself.  Sometimes I want to turn away.  

I believe I need to continue looking.

Pastor Diane Dulin


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