Anger in suffering – from Walter Wangerin

From Mourning into Dancing

Everyone’s grief goes its own course, and if you feel no resentment at all, God bless you!

But if the anger does rise within you, name it, accept it, and send it to God!

Why? – because God is responsible for the tragic quality of human existence? Of course not. We are responsible.

Then why? Two reasons…

First, because we think God is responsible. Even when we fear to admit it, god is our final antagonist. God the Omnipotent, Sheer Infinitude, the Holy Other, by his mere being and by the contrast to ourselves, teaches us our tiny-ness. It is plain honesty, then, that carries the anger to God.

But second, because God can take it! God, who understands us better than we understand ourselves, will not be destroyed by our most passionate rages. In fact, he sees already the fury and its intended object before we confess either one. And it hurts the Lord when our anger hurts people.

Better, then, to give it to God.

It doesn’t matter that we are wrong to accuse him for our sorrows. God will not give tit for tat. Instead, he is glad for the chance to communicate. When we speak, we are also inclined to listen. When we confront the Lord we open up ourselves to divine response – and then the Lord can egage us in dialogue, and then he can heal us…

God will respond by loving you. He will acknowledge your anger. He will not call it just, but he will call you to himself and will himself empower the coming.

The opposition of emotion must fail in the end. We cannot but suffer the finitude of all creatures. But if we experience the failure in the presence of the Creator, we will know who is God and who is not.

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