"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Friday, September 4, 2009

Anger's Lasting Result

My son went to his first Boy Brigade meeting last night. He went with confidence and came home happy. It is fun to see him grow up and begin to do his own things. When he came home, he did mention one teacher at the meeting that "lost her temper a lot". We didn't talk about it too much; but, focused on the fun activities and the other boys at the meeting.

The winds of mood shifted at some point in the night. Sweet boy was upset this morning. When I asked why, he whispered between sobs that he didn't want to go to Boys Brigade. When I probed a bit more it was as I suspected... the mean lady. Some time between last night and this morning, he and his sister had already named her, "The 'now' lady". (Apparently when she is telling the boys to do something, she puts "now!" at the end of each command). Oh, sweet boy! I want to hold him and never allow him to be exposed to mean people. So that is exactly what I did. I swept him up in my arms (I am not sure how long I will be able to do that--- he is getting quite heavy!). I swept him up in my arms and we snuggled together on Mommy's chair.

We talked about the specifics of her words, her actions and how it affected him. We talked about the other boys and what they might have been feeling. As we talked and snuggled, an interesting thing was going on in the other room. My daughter, the sweet defender of all things weak, was getting progressively more angry. I could hear her in the other room praying out-loud as her voice and her prayers rose in anger to the Lord. I called her in and asked her to share with us how she was feeling. She was mad! She told me that if I decided to go and talk with the lady (which I told them I would do if necessary), that I should not take her along... because well, ...well she would just let her have it! Can you picture this little 10 year old warrior with fire in her eyes defending her brother. She would do it too! I have seen her do it before, in fact.

I told her that her anger was right. I told her that God gets angry when he sees evil and wrong being done. I told her that she was feeling righteous anger. But, I also told her that Jesus wisely told us to pray for our enemies. Why?! I don't want to, of course, was her response. Yes! And that is why we must!

I was immediately struck with the fact that this mean "now" lady was a picture of anger gone unchecked. She was a good example of anger's lasting results. Maybe this loud, tempered woman was once angry for a good reason. Maybe, we don't know, but just maybe someone did something to her (or around her) that made her rightly angry. I explained that even though we don't know her story we can see her life. Her life shows us that her anger has turned to bitterness. Quick tempered, harsh, rude, and unkind are all results of anger gone bad. Imagine this woman walking in the forgiveness and peace that is offered to her in Christ.

So, we decided we wouldn't let anger have a hold on us that way. Together we chose to forgive this "now" lady. We decided to pray for her. We decided when we feel angry at her, we will pray for her. My sweet daughter said that she felt so angry at her, she may have to pray for her many, many times today! Sweet girl.

So, maybe Boys Brigade isn't the place for our boy. Or maybe it is. We will try it a few more times... all the while choosing to love, to offer peace and prayer for this teacher. The lesson is a good one for all of us, though.

Lord, may we be angry at the things that anger you! Teach us to use this anger to pray, to bless and to walk in Your peace. Your mercy, grace and forgiveness are beyond imagination. Teach us a bit of this, Lord.

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