I thought I was OK. A bit tired, perhaps. Slightly dissatisfied… vaguely unsettled. But not grumpy, and not ANGRY. No, not angry.
But my thoughts were jumbled, and I was thinking some cross things about certain people in the public eye who frankly deserve a good slap. And ten years in Her Majesty’s custody, at least. Fortunately that isn’t in my power to enforce!
So I started thinking a bit more. The more I thought, the more I realised stuff was preying on my mind- and I should be praying for (not preying on) those malcontents to settle my sense of injustice!
Gradually my mind and spirit began to settle. Frosty air is good for cooling a fevered indignation.
Yes, there are things wrong in the world. Injustice and exploitation, discrimination and greed: these things are evil. Mindless viruses have caused mayhem to health, society and the economy. My friends and family have suffered enough. All this has left me bruised and (almost) bitter… BUT I’M NOT ANGRY, ALRIGHT?
These reeds are in a local nature reserve. The greens of summer are long gone, and the dry husks wave prettily in the breeze, rustling gently as the frost melts away. Not much good for anything now. Why not cut them down, burn them, or shove them on the compost heap?
Yet the birds are starting to pair up, and these reeds will make good nesting material and food stores if they’re left uncut. Two yaffles flew overhead, then chased each other round and round a large tree. Rooks, robins, and blackbirds had a glint in their eye and a song in their mouths. Good days are coming soon. Let’s get winter done, and start the joyful Spring.
Jesus quoted words from Isaiah’s book to describe the function and character of the Messiah, the Saviour who had come from God. “He will not break off a bent reed, or put out a flickering lamp. He will PERSIST until he causes justice to triumph.” (Matthew 12 v20)
I felt a lot better. “Stuff” is still fouled up, and I’m bruised- but not broken. Jesus will keep on bringing the kingdom of justice and joy, and make use of the bruised and indignant, the snotty and the humble. In other words, God will do his job- and I don’t have to. Just as well. I’m DEFINITELY not up to that task.
God understands me (and you). Tired, ratty, dissatisfied… even honest anger. He will take care of the bruised, the flickering, the smoulderers and the weepers: and he will PERSIST until justice and mercy walk hand-in-hand down the High Street. God won’t stop caring, and being His compassionate Self of lovingkindness and longsuffering. He is rather good at fixing the broken, renewing the jaded, and embracing the bewildered.
I think I’m in that list. Are you?
(PS- if you’re wondering, “yaffle” is the old countryman’s name for a woodpecker.)