When anger becomes a gift

It is no secret that I struggle with anger.  Even rage sometimes. (Look here  or here for some posts on the topic)

In recent conversation I feel like I have uncovered the good side of the coin!  We all went to church on Saturday night.  As we at my hometown right now, we went to the church of my childhood.  Currently that church has the same priest, the same building, and basically the same community. 

They also have many of the same theological problems.

Misuse of space.
Saying that the drought might be caused by the devil.
Ignoring the gospel.
Ignoring the pain, struggle, and lives of the community at hand.
Getting stuck reading the missal rather than praying it.
Having baptisms outside the context of community
Being deeply kid unfriendly.

Okay, I'll stop with the litany there. I can't enter in too much to all of the problems.  Why? Because very quickly rage boils up in me.  As an adolescent I was enraged, infuriated, dumbfounded, at the deep problems of my faith community. But, rather than moving away from my rage and going to a different faith community I decided to change it.  I decided to fix it.

It's my rage that inspired me to study theology.
It's my rage that formed me as a preacher.
It's my rage that gave me experiences of ministry.

Then, over time my rage has become love.  Not love for the church really, but love for the way that the church can contribute to the meaning of people's lives.  Love for the way that community can bring justice to the earth. Love for the transformative power of the gospel. 

So somehow, I am realizing that rage is part of what teaches me to love.  My anger doesn't feel like love.  But the question I'm beginning to ask myself when I experience rage towards my children, spouse, or whoever invokes this rage is how is this, or how can this draw me closer toward love.


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