By Pastor Jeff Fox-Kline
A huge thanks to Chelsea Cornelius for reminding me in her sermon on Sunday that it’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to be furious.
“Be angry but do not sin.”
I’m devastated by the destruction that we see in Haiti, a country that was recently rocked by a tragic upheaval. I’m so sad about the ways in which that destruction continues to keep Haiti from being able to recover from a steady stream of crises.
I’m sad about Haiti. I’m sad about the capriciousness of geography and nature that created this devastation.
And I’m angry about what is happening in Afghanistan.
I’m so mad. I’m so mad I want to yell. I’m of the generation in which the "forever war" was just a fact of life. It was buried on page 8 of the newspaper or ignored entirely. It was the background noise from when I was 13 to today. Twenty years and I had so little to say about it.
And I’m angry with myself for not paying enough attention. For not making this more of a priority. For letting myself get distracted by other (often) more mundane and inconsequential issues.
I’m angry with myself for being surprised at how the past week unfolded and for how little attention I paid even as it was happening. I’m angry that I was not able to let my compassion for human life extend to places that I have a hard time locating on a map.
I’m angry that I still don’t know enough about the people of Afghanistan.
I’m angry with myself.
And I’m angry with everyone else. I’m angry that this wasn’t a bigger deal until it was a huge deal. I’m angry that we forgot about it, forgot about those serving over there and for those living there already. I’m angry that we just couldn’t care enough.
And now it’s too late, and we’ve abandoned people who put themselves in deliberate danger to help us. I’m so angry that we did not prepare enough to care for people who sacrificed their security. I’m so angry that we can’t (won’t?) do enough to help them.
But what does my anger do? I don’t know what to do with it, sinful or otherwise.
I wrote to some elected representatives. That’s all I’ve got for now.
So I’m going to stay angry for now. Hopefully enough of us will be angry enough to help people that we endanger.