At a recent Sunday service one of my friends prayed, “I am SO angry about the violence in this world”.
I am too.
I am angry that I discovered this horrendously long list when I thought to see how many ongoing armed conflicts there are. In this global age, when the world is becoming smaller, I am mad at myself for not being more aware.
I am angry that there is footage available on the internet of men being beheaded.
I am angry that too much violence is overlooked or underreported because it is happening to people who aren’t considered newsworthy.
I am angry that it is so easy to become desensitized to violence and the grave consequences of it.
I am angry about the violence that we inflict on one another with words instead of weapons.
I’m not sure what to do with this anger, except to turn it around and consider ways to promote its opposite. I believe that we have all been called to love our neighbour. Loving our neighbour does not mean that we always agree, nor is it easy. In fact, sometimes it feels close to impossible. Loving is a choice that requires patience, communication, and yes, the willingness to turn the other cheek.
I was reminded of this kind of love when my friend, full of prayerful honest rage, hesitantly agreed to have me pass her the stole we use and close the service with a benediction:
“God, even though I’m angry, be with us. Bless us. Help us to love.”