I am angry
I said as much to my Spiritual Director yesterday. I feel a deep sense of anger at the moment.
I am angry at the chaos, confusion and fear I see around me in our nation at the moment. I am angry with the lack of compassion, humanity and understanding shown by many in authority. I am angry that members of the Black community, across the world, face systematic injustice. I am angry at scenes of violence and frustration have erupted on our streets. I am angry because there are people being hurt on all sides.
I am angry with myself because, I do not and cannot fully understand. I am a white heterosexual male. I have always sought to treat all people as equal but, I have never faced prejudice because of my skin colour, sexuality or gender.
I am angry with myself because, I feel powerless and helpless.
I am angry.
Anger, of course, can be a good. It produces the energy to create change. It can be a force for good. It can get things done. Equally, anger can be bad when it produces more heat than light. Anger can be a blaze that can, so easily, get out of control. It can become destructive and consuming.
It was into my email inbox this morning that one of my daily devotionals dropped that provided me with a “aha!” moment. Richard Rohr offered a piece entitled “Contemplation and Racism” and it focussed on Contemplating Anger. In the piece Barbara Holmes suggests that we need to have a “theology of anger” and, she writes;
First, a theology of anger invites us to wake up from the hypnotic influences of unrelenting oppression so that individuals and communities can shake off the shackles of denial, resignation, and nihilism. . . . Second, a theology of anger can help us to construct healthy boundaries. Finally, the healthy expression of righteous anger can translate communal despair into compassionate action and justice-seeking. . . . The question is whether or not we will recognize our wounds and the source of our anger so that we can heal ourselves and others, and awaken to our potential to embody the beloved community. . . .
(Barbara Holmes – Richard Rohr Meditation: Contemplating Anger 9/6/2020)
Just reading this, helped to defuse some of my anger. It helped me to start to think of some constructive ways that I can commit myself to work for God’s justice within the community where I have been called to serve.
It reminded me of a song I haven’t sung for many years, written by John Bell;
Jesus Christ is raging
Raging in the streets
Where injustice spirals
And real hope retreats
Listen Lord Jesus
I am angry too
In the Kingdom’s causes
Let me rage with You
(John Bell and Graham Maule)
Don’t let anger consume you instead, seek to allow righteous anger to be a force for change and for good in our world
May your kingdom come, O Lord
May your will be done