Saturday, June 7, 2008

Blessed are the mourners

Blessed are those who mourn? What does that mean? Does God delight when we’re mourning? Well according to Jesus words it does, but maybe not like we’re accustomed to thinking. Maybe this means that God wants us to mourn those things that are worthy of mourning. For instance: death.

I remember vividly the day that Sadaam Hussein was executed. I remember it for two reasons: I remember the gruesome video and I remember Stephanie made me run like 5 miles – both were traumatic enough for me to remember. We were at my parents house in Michigan and the morning news channels had the video coverage with the video on loop. It was an hour later when we were running that it occurred to me, nobody was really sad that a man (regardless of how evil he was) was dead.

As I realized that Sadaam was a human being, I realized that his death was tragic. If he is a human, that means he was created in God’s image. It means that he is a son of Adam, which means that he is my brother. His death suddenly became personal to me. No longer was this the execution of an evil dictator on the opposite side of the world, something changed.

As I was running, I began to mourn the fact that this evil man was dead. Even though he was evil, even though he did many evil things, even though he deserved to die it was still a very sad thing for him to die Maybe this is what Jesus is talking about when he says blessed are those who mourn, because they understand the brokenness that is in the world.

There is a quote out there (and I do not know who to credit this to) that says, “Killing for peace is like raping for virginity.” Now this is pretty gruesome, but it makes the point peace cannot be brought on by war. Those who mourn realize that as humans we are utterly confused about what makes the world a better place. We in our attempt to find justice are only doing more injustice.

Blessed are those who are able to see injustice and mourn. Blessed are those who, in turn do not create more injustice, because when they have eyes to see and ears to hear they then will be able to begin to move away from living that way.