The truth is: I can write a whole lot of inspirational Christianese pick-me-up platitudes on my blog, but in a heated moment of confrontation I can suddenly enter into a horrible rage that’s downright embarrassing. In a second, all my pretty plastic theology can go out the window and there’s no spiritual photoshopped phrase on an ocean wallpaper that will hold me back from kicking someone’s face in.
This is ugly. It is sad. It is me.
Maybe I’m being too candid here, and I absolutely understand if this turns you off and drives you away. But I am capable of the worst kind of evils, the most despicable acts of violence at the flip of a switch.
Earlier today I was with my fiancé and our families looking at houses, and a large white man outside his home yelled, “Your car is parked in an unacceptable position.” When I say large white man, I mean to say that he looked like he was on the cheese-puffs-only diet and was an esteemed clan leader of League of Legends.
I replied, “We’re just looking at the house for a few minutes.” He yelled back even louder about my bad parking job. Of course, it wasn’t a really big deal and I could’ve let this go. But I said, “No, I think you’ll be fine.” And he yelled some more.
And right then, I had that thought I always do in moments like this. He’s only yelling at me really loud because I’m Asian, and Asians are supposed to be passive and quiet and submissive. If I was black or white or Latino or an attractive woman, he wouldn’t have started nothing.
Then, in a flash, I thought of killing this guy. I mean literally walking over there, roundhouse-kicking his left knee, elbowing him in the nose, and then kicking his face in until he stopped moving. I’m a fifth degree black belt, by the way, and I know how to kill someone with three of my fingers. I didn’t think this guy was worthy of my fingers.
It was a terrible, disgusting, humiliating sort of rage that rushed through my throat — and I took a few steps forward, loading my leg, only to be pulled back by my fiancé.
Later I was so guilty about everything that I asked all those questions: Am I even a Christian? Am I making spiritual progress? Am I really growing up? How could I be so ugly inside? How could I think these things? What if my church saw this? What if my fellow bloggers saw it too?
Because really: This was a dumb situation in the midst of real suffering in the world, and I didn’t deserve to feel this angry. I felt stupid, then stupid about feeling so stupid, and just plain bad. I got a headache, like one of those hot feverish night sweats when your blanket feels like a coffin. I wanted to throw up and die. I wanted to crawl in a hole of shame and choke in my self-pity. I thought, My blog, my ministry — it’s all over.
I wish I could wrap this up with a bowtie and say, “It’s all okay now.” It’s not. I’m still in a daze about it, to be honest, and I can’t say I would’ve had the resolve to hold myself back if my wonderful lady hadn’t stopped me.
I can only say that I need grace, more than ever, because self-condemnation is so unbearable. I need to know I’m still a human being, who fails, a lot. I need to know I am fully known and still fully loved, and that even in these disturbing fractures in my carefully crafted facade, I can find the humility to move forward and do better next time.
Originally posted here.
28 thoughts on “Today I Wanted To Forget About Jesus and Kick Someone’s Face In”
I really chuckled at the title, but I understand completely, J.S. I know that feeling. I’ve wished someone dead and they died. And there are times now when I feel that feeling rise for another heinous individual. I’ve learned only slightly better to ask God for help. I appreciate your honesty…really do.
Me to… more than once and the words I have been left with are so horrible that I always wonder did God forgive for that! I to am learning grace and how to walk in His love. Not always easy.
(Reading back my comment, I don’t mean to imply that my wishing someone dead caused them to die. No, they were soon diagnosed with cancer and died. I felt horrible and at the same time relieved of them. Just terrible.)
Morning .. If people leave your Ministry or Blog aftwr reading about your anger then they would leave over some other finger pointing sermon or post .. Anger or Rage ALWAYS come from pain .. Deep rooted .. Soul Wrenching Pain .. We all have our Red Signal Anger issues if we admit to it .. Ask for forgiveness (I know you already have) .. rest in Jesus love .. Learn the reason for your pain and keep on keeping on .. God Bless .. Susie
Susie, thank you so much my friend. I don’t want to make excuses for my moment of anger, but you are so right in saying that much of it comes from pain, and finding a way to “control” things around us since there’s a fracture inside. Appreciate your understanding.
Isn’t it so Great that our God loves us in spite of fractures? God Bless you and yours
Once upon a time a man dug a tough little vine out of a rocky place where he knew it couldn’t survive. He took it home and planted it in his garden, even though he knew the fruit of this vine was bitter. But he had a plan.
He carefully cut the vine just above the ground, took off the vine’s own growth and grafted onto it a more tender vine that produced sweet fruit. And the vine did produce sweet fruit, a read credit to the gardener.
Then one day a heavy rain stimulated that rootstock enough that it sent a new shoot up from below the graft. Out of the ground it popped, waving like a flag in the breeze and displaying all the characteristics of the tough stock it was.
Now what? Did the new vine die because a shoot of the old life appeared? If you were the gardener, would you dig up the whole plant and throw it away? What if you were big on redemption — which is why you replanted that straggly thing in the first place?
I think the fact that you have those questions – “Am I even a Christian? Am I making spiritual progress? Am I really growing up?…” – means that YES, you are a Christian, you are making spiritual progress, you are growing, etc. If you weren’t, would you care?
Also an interesting commentary on race relations and white privilege. Have I ever thought, “He’s only doing this because I’m white?”
Thank you Suzanne. I’ve often preached the same thing myself, though I often forget to preach it to my own self.
And about the race relations: I wish I was more clear that all the thoughts I had in that heated moment were exaggerated or twisted. I don’t really like to pull the race-card or poor-me-victimization. While I’ve definitely gotten the exact kind of racism I was writing about, I certainly can’t condone it as a catalyst to respond with hate or resentment.
JS thank you for this.. I am so glad that I am not the only one wondering these things… Or wanting to do these things to others… Each day is about learning how to do the “grace walk” and how to trust that God loves us no matter what… Your still ok in my book!!!!
I don’t doubt it for a second that you have probably already prayed for this man like five 5x since this happened because that’s just the type of guy you are. OK, maybe 2x. Anyway, I just had a thought…when we realize the worst possible version of ourselves, it makes it a little easier to forgive others. (yeah? you like that? maybe turn that into an inspirational poster or something 😉 ) peace, bro.
Hah thank you Ed, you think too highly of me. I’m reminded of when Jesus said in Luke 7 (paraphrased), “Those who are forgiven much, will love much.” You’re right. I also began to think that the guy who yelled at me probably had an awful day, or a bad week, or maybe a bad life. I suppose if he needed to yell at someone, his best option was me. I could be his Jesus for a day.
I am so glad…I’m not the only one who feels this way as being a Christian. I’m so glad God can gives true honesty with our failures. Thank you Pastor Park.
Jesus says to turn the other cheek, and you did. So that is good. Obviously, this individual was “baiting” you, just to see what you would do. You ignored him, which as we all know from Bullying Class 101, sometimes works and sometimes does not. It looks as if you took the wind out of his nonsense by paying him no regard. Congrats on your ability to turn the battle switch back to “pause” and then to “Off “. That proves you are human indeed !!!
An awesome clip from “King of Kings” 1961 Movie of Jesus’ Life—The Sermon on the Mount: “Bless those who would curse you, and pray for those who despise and curse you, for if you love only those who would love you, what reward shall you have?”
Worth 5-minutes of your day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI0OhH5LU3A
I remember the first time I saw this picture — “Hey, It’s O.K.” It was a post you did about Mistakes, how they don’t say everything about you, and that it’s Okay to make them. I know, because it is on my refrigerator like it was something one of my kids did that inspires me. It got me through a lot of hard times to read that, and there was a lot of help in those words – “Hey, it’s O.K.” that I found synchronous with other events where I got that same message — Must mean God is working through you pretty well. So all I can say in return to help bless you is that it’s okay to make mistakes, and you’ve blessed so many so much — no one is perfect. Peace to you.
That’s really so awesome and totally warms my heart. So often the way we encourage others, we forget to encourage ourselves.
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Please always remember all the good God is doing through you. I’m glad that God working in me is able to return the favor!
You are such a bright light in the world! Please do continue to be encouraged as you encourage others daily. God bless!
I could have written this exact same post just yesterday. Well, not as well as you, and certainly not with the black belts to stand with it, or the Asian argument… well, I could have written something similar. Unfortunately, I’m still fighting off the urge to don a baseball bat. I’ve literally been fuming since the event, dreaming up all kinds of bad scenarios for the one who angered me, who offended my loved one.
Amen to a new morning of grace that will provide another opportunity to step with Jesus in meekness, humility, and love.
Thank you for being so honest, my friend. I know what you mean about the daydreams of getting them back. While I do believe in justice for very real wrongs, I also know that I must leave the end result of that up to on high. I hope it all does work out on your end, whether you pursue reparations or leave it be.
Very well said……..I’m inclined to believe there are very few Christians on the planet who have not felt similar. I know I’ve had moments when I’ve wanted to cause bodily harm to my own children (well, the older ones) – not proud of that. So thankful that God’s not afraid of our honesty, He already knows it all (better than we do), and continues to love.
Thank you for a very real post.
It’s scary to ‘teach’ (if what I do can be called that) and then turn around and go ‘what if I can’t practise what I preach?’
But kudos for being honest. I think it’s the best we can do.
A very tough dilemma. I wrote about that once actually:
I love your honest posting, I had a similar situation where I let someone have it over the phone. If we would have been face to face I fear I would be in jail and he would be in the morgue! The words and the ferociousness I unleashed would have made a merchant sailor blush and run! After the situation I was physically shaking with anger, soon after I felt nauseous and then I started crying because I was afraid that my anger could spark a backlash on some innocent third persons.
It was shocking to me to experience such strong emotions but I am only human and though I usually am very mild mannered there is a lioness inside waiting to be unleashed. It can be disconcerting to experience such strong hateful emotions but we are after all human. All we can do is pray for forgiveness and discernment so that when similar situations arise we will be more like Jesus and less like a Navy Seal.
Keep being honest and people will continue to read, I know I will.
If believers lived more like broken ceramics being put back together by the Great Potter instead of hypocrites this would not seem an extraordinary post at all. Thanks for your honesty, your risk, and your belief that faith doesn’t mean perfect picture but perfect God!
Thanks for your candor, brother. How many times have we defeated our own not so good tendencies by refusing to act in a bad way? It is evidence of the Lord’s grace and His teachings. Being a disciple is becoming a disciple is being a disciple. Your post reminded me of a recent post I made expressing a similar sentiment. My readers were very supportive, but I ended up losing a very good friend (not the person mentioned) who had otherwise been a great longtime reader simply because I wrote the following:
“Anyway, right after I posted my last article expressing my utmost in teaching what we all must do to please God and get the job done at present to help bring forth the very needed Awakening (but also on my part hoping not to offend religious sensibilities—a virtual impossibility but I do try), I get slammed by a brother who took issue with something I wrote that he did not agree with and who conveniently forgot all about the Golden Rule apparently because it did not apply to him and I was indeed worthy of a personal slam and he was self-anointed to deliver the slam. And as always, I never mention names and in this case never even responded, but that did not stop him from naming mine.
So what do I do? Well, sometimes having the kind of natural human inclinations that would want to grab him by the back of his head, slam his face onto a bar, mash his nose into a bloody mess, and thereby teach him the proper respect the way Augustus McCrae did to that arrogant little San Antonio barkeep in Lonesome Dove, I decided the best thing to do would be to discipline my natural human inclinations in an attempt to honor the Lord and not respond in kind, eat his backhanded attack, take the hit, forgive him, and do the very thing I had also just written about in my last post (which this guy read)…”
Like they say, being tempted is not a sin. Acting on temptation is a sin. Christian discipleship does not change the fact that we are human beings but changes our responses and allows us to see us from God’s perspective which should drive us to our knees and on our faces so we can change and be like Him. And we can allow birds to fly overhead but should never let them build a nest on our heads. The Lord instructed us to carry our cross at all times, to crucify our flesh at all times.
God Himself was so incensed with the nation of Israel at one time He wanted to wipe them out but was talked out of it by Moses.