Saturday, July 18, 2009

Anger management

Sometimes I wonder how long I can keep the furnace of anger fuelled. I often dream of setting people who hurt me on fire, obliterating them into indeterminate, distorted, chargrilled smudges on concrete walls, their contorted, disbelieving faces staring back as they meet their nemesis. In my dreams, distinctions between right and wrong are blurred as I psychotically burn enemies alive with torched palms ala Dragonball, intensifying the heat with each shriek the writhing corpses emit, infused with the adrenaline of provoking God to strike me dead before I finish my murderous plan. Sometimes I wish I didn't know such anger.

Anger knows no friendship and recognises no relationship with the object at which it is directed. Anger remembers no good deed and finds no solace in forgiveness. Anger remembers and is reminded of its own existence by its open wounds still seeping with the effect of broken promises, broken trust and mistreatment. Anger hurts because it is hurting. Anger is hurting because anger has been wronged.

Humankind has broken trust with God and in His righteous anger, he no longer recognises us as His. We have no relationship with Him and have no way of returning for He has turned His back on us. We are the ones to blame in a broken relationship that cannot be appeased because we cannot even seek the person we have wronged to appease Him. We do not know where He is and as bitterness eats into our souls, we start pointing fingers and blaming Him for not returning our false remorse and white-washed regret. We blame Him for His anger when we are the ones who have angered Him. There is judgment hanging over our heads but the ominous threat of final separation does not come from the day-to-day wrongdoings we commit in public and in secret; it goes much deeper than that. Lovers are torn apart not by one forgetting to take the garbage out, but by worthless trysts of a filthy heart that marrs the sanctity of a faithful commitment of love.

No olive branch can settle the hurt. The Lover's demands require not just a change of heart expressed in speech and thought and deed, but the price of blood and flesh to eradicate all trace of anger (we call it propitiation and expiation). After having lived a life perfectly pleasing to God, who, even after living in such utter faithfulness can willingly submit to the full force of the anger of a betrayed Deity, burrowed into flesh and spirit and rise to a restored relationship? Only God Himself can. Only Jesus did.

Ironically, after I awake from slumber, I find my energy spent and my anger, a hollow shell.

Even as I remember my own anger and imagine God's holy wrath, I struggle with forgiveness. I have been wronged. Where's my recompense? I can choose to put my interest first and cut off ties with the people who have hurt me, being indifferent to their well-being, feelings or lives or I can choose to be like my Father, who, after looking at Jesus, remembers that He doesn't remember any longer.

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