Sunday, March 8, 2015

Brokenness Over Belligerence

"She only cusses when she's angry and she only gets angry at the right things." - me about myself on 9-3 after doing a bit too much research into educational malpractice.

There's a song by Matthew West called "My Own Little World." When I hear it on K-Love or read through the lyrics, I see privilege (many people of color would call it "white privilege" although it's more about money than race). But I also see a man who knows he is operating from a place of privilege and wants to change it.  He sings, "break my heart for what breaks Yours," and I know that the heart of God is broken by needless and senseless violence, death, greed, poverty, depression, bullying, the abandonment and abortion of children, inequities in education and opportunity.  All of that breaks the heart of God. I know it and so does Matthew West. 


I also know that, by God's standard, hatred is never ever appropriate.  I recently learned through a pastor that, by God's standard, apathy is not appropriate either.  So I can't hate the guy who doesn't give a flying fig about education equity.  He's not all bad anyway. 
I can't hate the people on my timeline who care more about property damage than the loss of a life, hundreds of black lives. Those people are not all bad. They are teachers and church organizers and in general they are sweet.

It's so much easier to be angry than to be hurt.

If I could have, rather than sitting with my friends and cussing about the injustice of adults of who mistreat or inadvertently screw up the futures of children, I would have cried.  For me, anger is almost never anger at its root; it is either fear or grief.

The appropriate thing to do when you're afraid - if you're a Christian and you walk in the authority you share with Christ - is to fight off the devil and his schemes (usually through intercessory prayer and declaration of the Word).  God did not give us a spirit of fear.  So comforting ourselves with our anger is actually akin to cowardice.  Because we are afraid to fight, we are going to let the devil win and simply throw a little tantrum to keep up appearances.

The appropriate thing to do when you feel grief is to cry - especially if you're a woman.  I once picked up a book that I wanted so badly to read.  It is If You Have to Cry, Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone.  I was inspired by her bravery and her determination and her ability to remain professional no matter what.  But I know now, the Lord would not give me the stamina to read that book because that is not a concept I need further internalized in my life.

Sometimes our hearts get broken and when that happens, there is no better reaction that to release the pain and anger.  Too many times we mask our grief as aggression and our fear as anger.

Remember that there is a blessing in the storm.  Remember that the Lord has not brought you into the desert to leave you to dehydrate and die.  Remember that He works all things together for our good. 


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