[dedicated to Maddie and Savannah, my beloved nieces]
On the night President Obama would announce the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden, the worldly notorious terrorist, I received the news through various media leaks on Twitter. While awaiting the official White House announcement, I joined many who anxiously awaited this peculiar, even morbid, good news. Upon hearing from the POTUS, I leaped with joy miles away from Pennsylvania Avenue or Ground Zero. I leaped with joy for the capture of iconic evil. I leaped for joy that the one targeted for killing was first given an opportunity to surrender (as was reported); if not then, at least for the past nine years, eight months and twenty days. I leaped for joy that no more American service-person blood was shed executing orders to subdue OBL "for God and country, Geronimo, Geronimo Geronimo!"
I leaped for joy last night and awaken this morning with increased capacity for joy -- hope does that! Even in the face of Christians criticizing unrestrained exultation over the death of a man, I leap for joy still! Unapologetically rejoicing! And it is to Deborah’s song about Jael’s triumph over Sisera in Judges 5:23-27 that I dance and leap -- literally, metaphorically, and unapologetically!
"Extolled above women be Jael,
The wife of Heber the Kenite,
Extolled above women in the tent.
He asked for water, she gave him milk;
She brought him cream in a lordly dish.
She stretched forth her hand to the nail,
Her right hand to the workman's hammer,
And she smote Sisera; she crushed his head,
She crashed through and transfixed his temples.
At her feet he curled himself, he fell, he lay still;
At her feet he curled himself, he fell;
And where he curled himself, let it be, there he fell dead."
Sisera -- Captain of King Jabin’s 20-year reign of terror, war, and pillage against Israel -- actually took to hiding out and abandoning his mighty men of war when Israel conjured the most of their natural might to resist him. Much like OBL living inside his compound, surrounded by armed militia, believing in his power and might (and using fourth wife as a coward’s shield) to save him. It is an incontestable reality that God gave Israel victory over their terrorists upon the death of Sisera. Death effected by wisdom, skill and strength -- of a woman at that! Oh yeah, Jael -- the utterly least likely agent of war -- was indeed a Navy Seal predestined for and dispatched to the plain of Zaanaim for the opportune time to capture and kill one so nefarious and feared. So much like one in the crosshairs of attempted political assassination by those he serve, President Obama gave the order, effected no doubt by prayerfulness and wisdom, to those abled with skill and strength to capture or kill OBL.
Such a cause for celebration I would say!
So, how might my brother make sense of explaining the reality of celebrating such a violent death, although product of war mongering, which runs counter to his previous parenting precepts of pacifism, peace and peace-making? I hope he tells my young nieces, as budding political pundits and justice prophets, the story of Jael. She did what was right in the eyes of God. And, with the double-tap skill rivaling the precision by Navy Seal Team Six, she single-handedly took out Terrorist Number One of the ancient world.
Sometimes, death is the deliverance.
"LORD, may all your enemies die like Sisera! But may those who love you rise like the sun in all its power!" Then there was peace in the land for forty years. Judges 5:31 (New Living Translation)
Rising like the sun in all its power... I continue to peace and practice peace; and I leap for joy!
Yes we can, again, in 2012.