Of course, the biggest story of this week has been the tragedy of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. For those as young as Figgins, I'm sure its particularly stunning, not having encountered this sort of thing before. I'm among those who still remember details of what they were doing when they heard of JFK's assassination. So, I've encountered this sort of thing before but that doesn't mean I can fully explain it to others, especially those who are dealing with it for the first time.
Naturally, the most common question seems to be "Why?!" The answer to "Why?!" these sort of things happen seems simpler to me. You can label it however you see fit but for me, its just sin. The more challenging question for me is "Why?!" would someone like Benazir Bhutto knowingly and willingly put herself in a position where this was so likely to happen. She was an attractive, intelligent, woman of means who was married, with children. She had twice-served as Pakistan's Prime Minister, already. And, she did this in the face of facts that included: her Father had been hanged by a former President of Pakistan, her Brother had been assassinated, her Husband had been labeled as corrupt, she had been exiled and the day she returned to Pakistan, she was greeted with an assassination attempt similar to the one that ended up taking her life. And yet, she vowed that none of this would deter her political campaign or her fight for human rights. "Why?!"
Ironically, the most common response I've been hearing to answer this paraphrases the Gospel of John, when Jesus says, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." I say "Ironically" because Benazir Bhutto was Muslim, not Christian. But the irony doesn't mean its not true. What Jesus said applies to anyone, regardless of their gender, faith, nationality, etc. Benazir Bhutto did, knowingly and willingly, lay down her life for her friends. My hope and prayer is that Benazir Bhutto's friends ... her fellow-Pakistanis ... will honor her by keeping her great love alive in themselves and to allow it to continue to propel them towards the goals of democracy Benazir Bhutto had in mind for them.
As Figgie and I considered all this, a renewed sense of thankfulness emerged. Thankfulness that we live in a nation that Benazir Bhutto openly acknowledged as the inspiration for the goals of democracy she had in mind. A nation that has been blessed with Patriots, akin to Benazir Bhutto, from the battlefields of Lexington and Concord to the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. Patriots, all of whom, rest in the truth and inspiration of those words spoken two thousand years ago ... words that honor them all and today, especially, honor Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto ...
"Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends."