More about anger
I asked a question a few days ago about anger -- is it OK to be angry with God? Have you seen John's comment?
If we're never angry at God, we've led a sheltered life.Linda has also posted on the topic (at this link).
I reached one point a few years ago in which my life would reach a horrendous catastrophe, or not. I depended on God to act decisively. He did. But had he not, I would have cursed his name and never ceased hating him. And looking back, I can still see that reaction as reasonable. Every person has a faith breaking point, even if we're not aware of it.
First of all, I am totally not the person to write this post. I've never been the to the point that John describes, so know that what I write today is the way I would HOPE it would be -- not the way that I KNOW it to be.
I think anger is totally interwoven with blame. Sometimes the blame is misdirected or unfocused, but I think it is hard to separate anger and blame. When J was born with the brachial plexus injury, was I angry? Some. I was angry with the anesthesiologist, who ignored three pages so that he could stay outside and smoke instead of being the in the delivery room, assisting with the birth. He would have had the role of elephant, pushing from above to help deliver this baby, and yet he was not to be found. I've been angry with myself about it, as well, but that's about it. Sad? Yes, very much, but not really angry. I don't blame God, so why would I be angry with him?
Linda's post, that I linked above, talks about the killings in the Amish schoolhouse and the response of the families -- how forgiveness plays a role in this issue. These families have been models of Christian forgiveness, but one sentence that struck me was, "God allowed this to happen." I wonder if it was said with faith that all things are within God's plan, and that it is part of faith to trust that he knows best. Do I believe that God allowed those little girls to be killed? Only in that I believe God set the physical world in motion. The man who pulled the trigger killed these girls, not God.
Does God send miracles to stop situations such as this? Sometimes, I believe, but unfortunately, not often. What I think we overlook is our own role as miracle-makers. God calls us to action; he will guide our steps, and we can make the difference in a world of sin. So I think the better question is whether there was someone, somewhere along the way who could have stopped this. Maybe -- maybe not -- I have no idea, but God works through us to change the world.
Look at John's comment again. He says, "I would have cursed his name and never ceased hating him." Wow. That's very honest, and that's anger. What would have been God's response? He would have continued to love John, even in response that kind of hatred. That's grace -- it's there before we know of it, it's there when we need it, it's there when we think we don't need it, and it's there when we loose faith in it. God peruses us, and I think he would have chased after John, no matter what.
John also says, "Every person has a faith breaking point, even if we're not aware of it. " That may be the case; I don't know. What I do know is that God's faith in us does not have a breaking point. It is extraordinary and unbreakable. That's why it is OK to be angry with God. He can take it.
The lectionary scripture that I read this morning was from Job 23:1-9 and 16-17.
But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. (8-9)...Yet I am not silenced by the darkness, by the thick darkness that covers my face. (17)I have a feeling that this would be my response to a situation that John describes. I would loose God -- not be able to find Him. I would not be angry so much as lost and alone -- "a thick darkness covering my face."
As I said, though, what do I know? I have thankfully never faced that kind of crisis.
Thank you, John, for sharing.