Last night as church ended, I received the news that spread like wildfire throughout the nation. Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9-11 attacks, had been killed by American troops. Hearing the news, reading the Facebook status updates, caused a mixed of emotions – gratitude for the men and women who are willing to put their lives at risk so that our world may be safer, concern for the men and women whose lives were now increasingly at risk as they seek to spread the Gospel in countries that are sympathetic to Bin Laden’s anti-American philosophy, and confusion over how I should feel about his death. After all, while I believe that temporal justice was served, Bin Laden’s real experience with justice will come, just like all of ours will, when he faces his Maker. As a sinner who is only saved from that judgment by the grace of God, I am well aware that, except for the sacrifice of His Son, I too would have been standing in condemnation before Him. I too, would be experiencing the punishment that anyone with an unrepentant heart will one day face.
It’s an important reminder for all of us. While I love my country and am proudly the daughter and granddaughter of men who have sought to defend and protect it, my true citizenship is in the Halls of Heaven. Therefore, I want my response to the things of this Earth to reflect the place of my ultimate allegiance. I want to remember that Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44), the city that would betray and kill Him. How much more so should I be grieved by the people and the nations that refuse Him to this day? Loving our enemies isn’t just an instruction for the enemies that we know personally (Matthew 5:44). When one of our enemies meets their demise, we should, as Spurgeon states, respond in such a way that is “consistent with our high dignity” – that is consistent with our status as a citizen of Heaven. We should respond as our Savior did.
In my nature, I’m glad that there is one less terrorist on this Earth. In my heart, I’m sad that we live on an Earth where terrorists exist. In my spirit, I’m longing for the place where I will finally be at Home. Until that day, I want to make sure that I am a citizen that my Ruler would be proud of.