Today I Am Just Going To Be Angry
I got angry yesterday when I heard the news from Baton Rouge that there had been another assault on police, which resulted in the deaths of three officers, and the injury of three others, including one who is still fighting for his life.
Another senseless attack. Another crazed, demented and deranged killer inspired by the militant, angry rhetoric, twisted ideas and perhaps the very example of others, and enabled by a culture that is steeped in violence.
This on the heels of nearly one hundred people dead from an attack in France, and the deadly shootings in Dallas that took the lives of five police officers.
So yesterday I got angry, and I'm still angry today. I am tired of having to explain all of this. I'm wondering where God is, and why all of these things keep happening. I am at a loss on how to respond.
I am tired of prayer vigils, and weekly prepared statements from elected officials telling us that "this is not who we are."
Today I woke up and read Psalm 44. The Psalm starts out with the psalmist relating all of the stories he's heard about what God used to do to rescue his people. Then he lifts this prayer up to the Almighty:
"But now you have rejected and humbled us..." ""You gave us up to be devoured like sheep..." "You have made us a reproach to our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us..."And then the psalmist says:
"All this came upon us, though we had not forgotten you; we had not been false to your covenant."Basically what he is saying is, "..and all of this happened to us when we thought we were living for you, serving you, doing the right thing." Then all of a sudden things get very real for the psalmist:
Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever. Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression? We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love.
And then the Psalm ends.
There are no easy answers in this psalm. There's no happy ending. It's steeped in anger, sorrow, doubt and fear.
But underneath the surface there is a sliver of hope. The psalmist is definitely calling out to God, but also completely calling God out.
"You did this before... rescued us, delivered us... You are the rescuing God, whose love never fails... rescue us again..."
I think I'm going to hold on to my anger for the moment. I'm going to let my sadness slip over me, my spirit fill with fear and I am going to let God know how I feel--no holds barred. God can take my anger, my sorrow and my fear, I am sure of it.
But I'll also hold on to hope. Even if all I have left is a sliver of it. I'll hold on to it for dear life because that's all we can do in these moments.
And I'll whisper over and over again: "Your love never fails... Rescue us again...Rescue us again... Rescue us again."