I think it was about ten years ago when I attended a Pacific Crossroads Church community group in Santa Monica, CA. Many of the folks at that church were in the entertainment industry. The icebreaker was, “How was your week? What achievement are you most proud of from the past week?” I’m sure it was tied to what we were studying or discussing that night. I racked my brain and came up with, “Well, one thing about me is that I have to stand up for people when they can’t stand up for themselves so like I feel good about speaking up against a gym employee who was treating a Latina lady poorly because she couldn’t speak English. She was really talking down to her and treating her like a little kid, raising her voice when she couldn’t understand so I had to say something.” Then the next guy who shared was really fired up, saying that I jogged a similar memory of his, of when he defended someone while in line at Starbucks.
Shortly after we shared our highlights of the week, the next dude said, deadpan, “I’d have to say it was pretty cool when I won an Oscar last week.” Well. He was so truly humble about it, saying it was just for a technical category but I always laugh when I think of this memory, especially today, while still reeling from the news of Osama bin Laden’s death. How was your week? What was the most memorable? I’d probably choose from many Micah anecdotes, how we walked a 5K together as a family with a stroller at the Bronx Zoo’s Run for the Wild, or how he took some solid naps on any given day. And then some cooler-than-cool dude would follow that with, “I’d have to say I had a monumental week. I shot Osama bin Laden. Dead.”
Last night, my husband and I watched footage of people gathering around Ground Zero and the White House to celebrate bin Laden’s death with bright eyes, huge grins and unabashed cheer. Unlike me, Husband was in NYC on 9/11, actually fleeing his office two blocks away from the Twin Towers, running the fastest he’s ever run in his life. Yet Husband still said, “This feels a little weird. Cheering the death of another human being.” I know what he meant but I hardly heard him as I was too busy cheering beside him. I KNOW this does not bring back the lives of the victims or the men and women who served our country but knowing that this evil man is no longer with us, I kept shouting, “BOOYAH! You punk ass BITCH! Finally!” As a Christian, I do believe we are ALL sinners and that vengeance is the Lord’s. But whether right or wrong, I feel what I feel. I am still thrilled that the ruthless, unremorseful mass murderer of thousands is no longer roaming God’s green Earth and hope that other terrorists can get theirs too, and soon.
Someone shared this MLK, Jr. quote on Facebook today: “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” I confess that I ain’t no MLK, Jr.