Monday, May 2, 2011

The gift of 10 years

Osama Bin Laden was given the gift of ten years to process what he did to innocent people and change his ways.  Some people think that was too long.  I am grateful that we have a God who extends that kind of mercy to even the most criminal of us.  What an amazing gift - ten years to repent.

But he squandered it.

I can't imagine what it must have felt like to be him.  How could you live with the shadow of that in your life?  I remember getting in fights with kids in elementary school and wincing as I punched them in the nose.  One kid's name was Joey Oaks.  For some reason we wound up in a fight and I really did a number on him.  My friends and older brother were cheering me on as I pounded on him, but then afterward I really felt bad . . . really bad.

Now magnify that by 10 million.

Imagine being responsible for 9/11.  I know, there was a lot of high-fiving in the upper ranks of the radical Muslim community, but what about the in-between times?  What about the times that Osama looked into the eyes of little children.  Do you think that he didn't see the CNN reports of innocent people dead?  Did he not know that little children were now missing parents?  Did he really give thanks to God that people jumped to their death from eighty and ninety stories up?  Is it possible that he had weak moments in which a part of him felt uneasy or wrong about what he did?  As a human, did he feel the weight of what he just did?

How could you not have dreams about thousands of voices brought to silence in one moment?  How could the psyche bypass the weight of it all?

What about God?  Was He working on Osama as well?  Was there some kind of inner turmoil that was lit by the Almighty?  Did God attempt to reclaim one of His children from the darkness of hate?  Perhaps God allotted almost ten years to this task in hopes of repentance.

Then his time simply ran out.

Make use of the time that you have, friend.

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