From the Heart

Don’t! Don’t you dare tell me how to think or what to feel or how to react. It is not your place to tell me or anyone else to “get over it”. How dare you tell me what my emotional reaction should be to anything much less something so emotionally charged as this!

I remember 9-11. I remember how I felt. I remember trying to stay calm so others would as well. I remember the pale faces and the stricken looks on my co-workers’ faces as we came to the realization that this terrible thing actually happened. Someone had intentionally murdered thousands of people just because we were different from them.

As the days progressed I, along with many others watched the coverage with horror and sadness while trying to explain to our young children and to ourselves what had happened when we weren’t even sure ourselves. Religious fanaticism is so far outside of our realm it is almost impossible to understand. I cried as I imagined the people in those airplanes and the people in the World Trade Center just before they were condemned to their deaths just for reporting to work that day.

I remember sitting on the edge of my couch watching the crowds of people cheering and holding up signs celebrating and smiling and laughing gleefully at the loss of American lives. I remember the very moment I realized that these people who had no idea who we were or what we were about hated us, they actually hated us. We weren’t the benevolent saver of countries and the loving policemen of the world to them.

I remember crying out loud and holding my arms across my midsection as I realized that these people who didn’t know us at all were actually glad that Americans were dead and that an entire nation was grieving their loss. How could that be? Who were they to celebrate the death of someone they didn’t even know?

Now the tables are turned. I don’t know them and I don’t understand them. I do know that violence and death are not the solution to the problem. I am glad that he has been found and I am glad that he has been stopped but I cannot bring myself to pour out into the streets and celebrate the death of a human being no matter who or what he represented. I cannot bring myself to do this because somewhere someone is grieving for the loss of this person and I would not want to cause them further pain by participating in a public celebration of his death.

I am a Christian and as such shall conduct myself as one as often as I can. I will pray for that man’s soul as he is condemned for the atrocities he facilitated. I will pray for the people he ruled that they will now see that violence and death are not the answer. I will pray for our country that we don’t feel a backlash from this martyr’s death. I will pray for the soldiers there who might feel the ramifications of this even today. Finally, I will pray for your soul, you who condemn me for my Christian beliefs. I will pray that you will be forgiven for harboring such hatred and for condemning me and mine for feeling it’s not right to celebrate the death of a human being no matter who he might have been.

Be who you want and react how you feel, I will not condemn you although I might pray for you. Don’t tell me how to respond, don’t tell me what I should or should not think and do not tell me how my god feels because he is MY god and I know what he expects of me and what I expect of myself.


Mary LeFevre

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