Being angry doesn’t mean you’re crazy. It points to something real, something hurt. Rage is often unspeakable grief, the body in defiance of a heinous and hostile intrusion.
We want justice, but many demand it within a narrow definition of coolheaded, reasonable, level-voiced, forgiving, ever patient, neutral “peacefulness” completely without error or passion or volume, within strict suburban parameters meant to feel as safe as the safety that was plundered from us. This is asking me to protect everyone from the pain I suffer by packaging it in a palatable, appealing, articulate platform that informs but never offends, convinces but never convicts, straddles but never stings.
Some anger is wrong. Sometimes it is vengeance. Sometimes pain gets offloaded to hurt others. But other times, we must listen. Sometimes anger and pain are passion and courage. And my guess is that many of us have forgotten the sound of standing up: it sounds messy, loud, boisterous. It’s never clean.
Your voice is important. Don’t halfway your opinion. Don’t back-pedal and soften it up and cater to everyone else. You’ll catch hate anyway. I don’t mean you never say you’re wrong; we’re all wrong, a lot. I mean: be fabulously passionate about what’s right. You’re a drop in this ocean and then you’re gone. Make it count. Stand for something.
Is suffering a “part of God’s Plan”? Does God use trials to teach us a lesson? Does everything really happen for a reason?
A hard look at the Problem of God vs. Suffering, and why easy answers won’t work in the middle of the mess.
Get my book on persevering through trials & suffering, Mad About God.
When tragedy occurs, we are often too quick to fight or too quick to forgive.
When we are hasty to fight, we allow rage to blind our vision. This is understandable, but unchecked will lead to bloodlust and xenophobia and too many assumptions of the facts.
When we jump to forgiveness, we are trying to free our hearts of bitterness. This is understandable, but unchecked will lead to a bypass of justice and become insensitive to the hurting.
There’s a time to be angry, to shake a fist, to attack evil and defend the weak. It’s right to hate injustice.
There’s also a time to extend pardon, to pray for enemies, to hope for better and wipe the slate clean. It’s how we rebuild for tomorrow.
God will finish this story both ways. We don’t need to force one on the other. If we try: we will forfeit both. Only God can hold this equally in tension, and only He is righteously infuriated with a tender grace.
One day, this broken world will be made right. God will unroll His love and justice on a people waiting for both, and the things that don’t make sense will be answered somehow.
Until then: we fight. Until then: we forgive.