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Prayer-Poem Upon the Death of Osama bin Laden

Relief, release,
for ten years awaited
by all whose lives ceased
in planes and towers,
or battlefields, caves or roadways far from home
in these succeeding years:
The dead must have their voice.

So, too, the living,
those whose mourning could not reach full closure
until this news:
Osama, too, is dead.

In these United States some celebrate
a victory long sought,
an objective long elusive:
To find and bring this man to trial,
or to visit on him
what he had visited on far too many
in far too many places
for far too long.

Some also sigh, or sob,
or cry with groans that beg,
"Can this one death atone for all our loss?"
And others start to ask,
"May this one death unleash a thousand more?"

Relief and fear,
wonder and sorrows relived, renewed:
This is where we are.

This news of death as justice
cuts all ways,
leaving us with wounds that heal
and fester,
all at once.

And so we pray:

Jesus, risen,
Conqueror of Death,
heal us.

Jesus, risen,
Great High Priest,
hear our cries as prayer.

Jesus, risen,
Redeemer of the World,

deliver us from temptation.

Jesus, risen,
Judge of living and dead,
have mercy upon us and all whom you have made.

Jesus, risen,
Prince of Peace,
show us the paths of Life.

Amen.

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