I’m angry! Apparently, I’m not alone. Everywhere I turn I see and hear the anger.
There’s a lot that should make us angry:
- Rampant corruption in the highest offices in our government
- Immigrant children separated from their families and housed in cages
- Paralyzing, self-serving political partisanship
- Insulting disparities between rich and poor in ready access to life’s necessities
- Sexual discrimination, exploitation, harassment, and violence
- Gun violence and communities awash in instruments of death
- Racial, religious, and ethnic hatred and bigotry
- Environmental destruction and climate intensification
- Weakened and divided faith communities
- And . . . .
I’m scared by the level and pervasiveness of the anger. But there is another perspective. Maybe the anger is a source of hope.
St. Augustine (354 – 430 AD) wrote: “Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage; Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.”
Daughter Anger is everywhere. She’s not very beautiful when merely wringing her hands, clinching her fist, punching in the face, calling people demeaning names, or perpetuating violence.
Daughter Anger’s beauty shines when controlled by compassion, speaks the truth, works for justice, and extends hands of reconciliation.
But it takes daughter Courage for daughter Anger to be compassionate, just, and hospitable in these times.
When sisters Anger and Courage join hands to build communities of compassion, justice, and peace, Mother Hope shows up. . .
- in a sixteen-year-old Swedish climate activist challenging the United Nations
- in a small congregation protecting an immigrant family from deportation
- in a whistle-blower who risks job and scorn to expose a dangerous threat
- in a politician who puts country above party and works for the common good
- in a church that risks decline but declares that ALL means ALL, including LGBTQ+ sisters and brothers
- in a young United Methodist pastor not yet ordained instituting a gun buy-back program in a small South Carolina town
- in a black first-grader holding the hand of a white special ed student being taunted by classmates
- and supremely in a carpenter-turned-preacher challenging the principalities and powers of evil with death-defying acts of compassion, integrity, justice, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
God grant that our anger will give us courage to join hands and participate fully in Christ’s present and coming reign of compassion, justice, generosity, hospitality, and peace!