Dramatic title eh? I want to strike a pose when I say it. Or have the ability to cue a thunderclap on demand
So let me start off by saying 2017 hasn’t been my most well-behaved year so far. This blog post is going to be another round of me spilling my marbles to you with the theme of volcanic anger and aggression management. Welcome to the meeting! cookies and wine in the kitchen 😉
Definitely had better moments in the way back when, but here we are! Trump is the president and consequentially our country reaping the consequences of electing a rather unqualified man into the highest office. Apparently our country is no longer accepting refugees and therefore turning it’s back on people in very great need of the ideals our country was founded on (also, can I bring up Matthew 25:40 yet?). Apparently, and despite having a uterus myself and education/work experience specializing in women’s heath, I’m not qualified to be an advocate for women’s rights and equality because I am a Christian and believe feticide is harmful to women and a product of hopelessness in our lives (not to mention I’m of the opinion it’s desecrating God’s image, just like when we murder anyone else). And therefore my “religious” belief makes me irrelevant and ignorant to the pain of others. There is national strife and even more heartbreaking, strife withing the church (both my actual church and the Christian church world-wide) with members shunning each other over political stances and facebook posts and even leaving churches because they’ve placed the politics of this world above the supremacy of Christ. I feel frustrated, aggressive, isolated, and defensive (All combined with a nice glue of grief over the world and at my own failure to be a better ambassador of the Gospel rather than a fireball of selfish emotion).
I’m punching my apartment floor in rage and cursing strangers out at the top of my lungs till my throat hurts and I almost stop parkway-entry traffic. Classy. Nice move Chickie Pey..
A “work-out” for me right now is basically punching and kicking the air and thinking “if anyone is fool enough to pick a fight with me, I want them to be surprised!!” FRUITCAKE ALERT. Cripes. Rebecca….your Domico is showing. hehe 😉
……For real though..I almost parked my car on a parkway entrance ramp and walked out to yell at this jag, but in the end I just turned my body around and felt the fires of hell fly out of my mouth and face at him. I am not yet sorry I did it. I actually feel more guilty that I don’t feel guilty about it and sort of want to push that crap at God’s feet and say “so what do you want me to do with it?” in a sassy 7th grade girl voice. If you haven’t clicked off this post yet you are probably my mom.
I am pretty disgruntled to be writing anything like this on my dumb blog right now, but it’s getting to emotional constipation Threat Level Midnight so here goes the freakshow…
And it’s going to rewind here for a minute while I ramble a story to you that I will explain the relevancy later:
–>About 2 years ago (basically just moved to Pgh) I was confronted by a really angry 50+year old man in swanky biking gear complete with an expensive bicycle while trying to park my subaru in a really awkward way involving a u-turn in Schenley Park. I was on my way to hear Jonathan play music for a function in Schenley park and there was no parking except for parallel on the opposite side of the road I was driving on, and being the urban driving/parking newbie that I was, I probably did this all wrong. I looked down the road in front of me and behind me to check out the situation and there was the man on his bike far down the way. Judging by the distance and the type of vehicle he was operating I figured that he had more than plenty of time and space to clue in to the thing I was doing and that by the time he got to me I’d probably be parked. Now, I do think back on this whole plan and wish I’d just driven down the road some more and figured out another way to turn around but that’s what now-me would have done figuring that I wasn’t in danger of getting insanely lost anywhere around the park. But..that wasn’t me ‘then’. I was basically terrified of moving my car beyond the directions of my phone GPS. So, I start this turn and see this biker guy making his way toward me and then as I struggled to squeeze my car into its parallel cubby-hole between two other cars he buzzed around me and I heard him yelling at me from outside. I looked up in surprise after turning my car off and was totally witnessing this guy lose his shit.
Entirely lose it.
At a stranger girl who clearly doesn’t know how to park her car.
So, I rolled down my window in disbelief to hear him shout at me a multitude of angry accusations and broad personal insults. The one I remember word-for-word?
“You don’t care about anyone! You don’t care about anyone but yourself!”
I was so angry and shocked at what was going on between me and this guy I couldn’t say anything just stare at him open-mouthed and eyes filling with molten rage. He finished yelling, without giving me a word edgewise, and sharply turned and sped away on his environmentally friendly paperclip-on-wheels. Can we all tell that to this day I’m still kinda lettin’ it go….at least I’m honest? But really. If he ever bikes around the Great White Subaru again I will probably face great temptation not to plow him over…. No sir, you were mistaken. It’s not that I don’t care about anyone, I just don’t care about you.
–>ASLO can we realize that as evidence by the above vindictive rant I clearly care a ton about what this random stranger man thought of me otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this way nor would I have cried while telling a therapist about this experience…umm yeah I think I probably care a bit. I’m a freaking emotional garbage disposal. It’s totally embarrassing. And to be fair I actually do care about this man as a fellow human that was made in God’s image and whom Jesus died for soooo yeah I know I shouldn’t say that I don’t care about him, but let’s just say that I’m glad Jesus does (and I am working on it).
As he pedaled away my mind felt white hot. How dare you. You utter —-(I’m not going to type the rest of that but you can figure it out). You do not know ANYTHING about me, who I care about, what I do for a living, or that I was very aware of where you were and used my best judgement for distance while trusting that you were also paying at least slight attention to the horizon of road beyond you. You old entitled jag. You would have never spoken to me that way if my husband or father were in the car with me. Heck, you’d have NEVER spoken to either of them that way if they were driving! You looked into this car and saw a naive college-aged girl without any real-life responsibilities whom you felt entitled to reprimand . You did not see a young wife still getting used to her new city, who probably took care of your daughter and new grandchild last night during a long shift at the hospital. You don’t see anything about me other than what you want to see in order to justify you taking this opportunity to assert your superiority over me.
So now we’re back in 2017 sitting in Heins Kitchen lamenting over the 4 cookies you just ate and how in that picture from 4 months ago you looked way skinnier. And you’re writing a blog post about some dumb interaction you had with another angry human years ago and telling the whole blogosphere that it made you cry multiple times and your therapist even heard about it. Pa-the-tic. So I think we’ve all got it that I care a crazy ton about what people think about me and it comes out as perceived “just anger” EVEN THOUGH I “know better”! I do know the “right answer” to this dilemma, I know it is fruitless and unsustainable to draw your life water from people. But even though I “know” that I still do it on impulse. That impulse being–I wrap every possible interaction I have with people into a statement about me (talk about self-absorbed much? or better yet how about Queen Self-Pity?). Anyways, bringing it back. The only point I’ve been trying to make in this post so far is that I’m super vocal and want to yell at everyone when I feel injustice to myself and others. And that too often my anger isn’t purely righteous because I’m sinful and spend my time allowing myself to prostitute my identity to everyone/everything outside of Christ.
A few days ago during a phone conversation with one of my Life Yodas (every time I talk with her I feel like a padawan that needs re-directed in the way of The Force!) I was spilling my guts (like I just did to you) about how aggressive I’ve been feeling and ready to take everyone and their brother out and she told me how the apostles James and John were called “Sons of Thunder” by Jesus (Mark 3:16-17). I guess they were a little animated and Jesus had to rebuke them when they lost their cool too.
As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and the went to another village. Luke 9:51-56 NIV
In my Bible’s footnotes it says that some manuscripts write that Jesus also tells them “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of, for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them”
Oough. Jesus! I want to call down the fire!! I’m so angry sometimes! I want to yell, kick, and verbally strike people down! Sometimes I lay in bed and just pull at my sheets and think “Lord.. I’m ANGRY! Aren’t I just in it?! I want people to feel it and know they’ve hurt me!!” *Remember my posts are not sharing the nicest sides of me with you so I’m just being real 10-4? I wish I weren’t like this but I’ve got the fire of rage and the floods of grief+self-absorption in me nevertheless.*
Learning how to tame my heart’s rage is turning out to be just as much about taming my tongue. Which is a bummer for me because one of my favorite activities is talking and verbally processing everything! And I love an audience 😉
When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. James 3:3-12 NIV
Oh man. Of course James (fellow Thunder-Kid) wrote this! I feel ya man. You probably had to write this because you knew it too well. He goes on in the following passages into what real wisdom looks like. I’m learning that I can’t get rid of my passion, which too often used as fuel for my angry tongue, but that I can ask God to make me passionate for righteousness and for the humility to ask for wisdom that is truly righteousness-seeking through peace-sowing. 2/28/2017 UPDATE: Turns out Thunderkid James and the James who wrote the book of James are actually different people…..ooops! I didn’t mean to lead you Biblically astray so please forgive me and use this as yet another reason to get your Bible-learnin’ from someone who when to pastor school to do this! Not the weirdo internet sorta nurse 😉
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:13-18 NIV
Just think that one over for a minute.
BTW, This is how I look reading James 3:
I love you peaches.
If you made it to the end of this post I’ve got some carb therapy for you in my kitchen.
Thankful that God doesn’t give up on me or you (and that Jesus didn’t give up on John or James!) And that nothing we can say or do changes who He is and His purposes. Thankful to be created with passion and that God doesn’t say to get rid of it, but to have a spirit of humility that seeks to use our passions to glorify Him through loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength, mind and loving our neighbor as ourselves ( see Luke 10:27).
…And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Please Lord, help me to be this. I need all the help I can get. Let me have deep roots in truth and a spirit of compassion for others you have created.
And finally, it’s not a blog post till it has a pretty picture.