Monday, May 2, 2011


Being here in China on this day has been very strange. Big things are happening back home but I'm missing out on it. I'm on the outside looking in and I want to be inside. Except I can't. It's almost like it's not really happening to me. Like this day won't be a part of my American history because I wasn't really there to experience it. I can read the internet news and re-watch the President's speech but it's not the same. 

It's like being on a team. And the coach decides to have a sleepover and I'm the only girl that can't come. The sleepover is awesome and it's all the other girls talk about for weeks afterwards. They have inside jokes and favorite memories and really funny stories. But because I didn't go, I just can't relate. I'm still a part of the team. They still like me, want me around but I've missed out on a really important part of the team building. Or something.

I'm really homesick for America right now. Not because I want to be in the streets chanting "Hey, hey, hey, goodbye" or even screaming "USA, USA, USA". But because I am missing a piece of American history. A time of gathering together, a time of forgetting right and left, a time of remembering what we've overcome.

At the same time, I'm troubled by a lot of the hatred being screamed in the media and yes, even on my Facebook wall. I get it, the vindication, the legitimation, the sigh of relief. But it hurts my heart, all the "you-deserve-to-burn-in-hell" stuff, the celebration of death, the wishing of pain on someone.

I know, I know. Where's my patriotism?

It's right there, tucked in between deciphering what it means to 'love those that hate you' and jumping for joy that Bin Laden is dead.

It's a tricky thing, to work out my faith when my patriotism is involved.

Regardless, today I'm reminded how glad I am to be American, how thankful I am for the men and women who fight for my freedom (even if I choose to live in another country), and how grateful I am that I have a living God who is in complete control in every situation. 


Abs said...

That friend is totally you!!! :)

I'd just link my readers to your post, but i'm too tired to figure that out at the moment.

Anyway, as for your post, i concur. You said it better too!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Jen, many people are struggling with the reaction to this news. I am glad but hate the idea that we probably helped him go to hell (I know. he made his own choice). On the other hand, "His" timing is perfect. I don't like the chanting, etc. that all those college students are doing. They were probably 10 years old when 9/11 happened. I am so proud of our brave Navy Seals who went into the middle of the pack (so to speak) to get the leader. Thanks gentlemen. Maxine

Jeremy said...

I felt the same way when you guys told me at lunch. I'm glad he will cause no more harm. I am sad our country cheers for death.

Day by Day Delights said...

I feel EXACTLY the same way (scratch the being in China part). :-)

Anonymous said...

It is a mixed thing for me too. The man definitely deserved to die, and I think we should be glad he can do no more damage.

Anonymous said...

That last comment was from you mom.

Jen said...

Thanks for commenting. It makes me happy.

I think it'll be interesting to see how attitudes change as more details, harsher details, emerge.