Anger and Power

Anger is a powerful emotion.  Much good can come of appropriately harnessed and focused anger.

I get angry within my spirit when I observe senseless acts of violence towards others.  I get angry when I hear and see wars between nations and people groups.  I get angry when a loved one or friend is treated with indignity, disrespect, or dishonor.   The list could go on.

I am learning that one of the reasons that anger rises up in me is because I might be feeling a sense of insecurity or fear.  Fear that I am losing control.  Fear that something I value is being forcibly taken.  Fear that my comforts and securities are being threatened.  All valid reasons to get angry.

Ultimately, if anger is not dealt with and harnessed properly it can result in a self-centered strategy which seeks to simply attain more power.  Power, or the sense of control in a situation or agenda, can be a good thing.  If the outcome is to create a more stable, healthy, and sensible condition for all people, anger can produce good.

As I observe the aftermath of the most recent mass shooting in Parkland Florida, I’m feeling anger.  As are many, in this moment.

The families and friends of the fallen are completely justified to feel the emotions of anger, resentment, bitterness, and rage … in this moment.   Anyone with half a heart can most assuredly feel what they are feeling … in this moment. I’m a musician.  Musicians are typically more emotionally driven people.  We tend to balance reason and logic with emotion, sensitivity, and hopefully empathy and compassion.  Some of us would be considered imbalanced on the side of emotion.  I get that.  But then, sometimes … that’s needed.

The students of Parkland Florida and surrounding communities are rising.  Their anger, rage, sadness, grief and pain must be harnessed, guided, and hopefully empowered with leadership that is rooted in goodness, compassion, and well-being for all.

I pray for the congregations, parishes, and ministers of local churches there.  I pray for the communities of people who feel lost, helpless, hopeless and empty in their current state of emotional anger. I pray that the anger they are feeling will be channeled into deeds of goodness, kindness, and yes — forgiveness towards one another.  Even towards their peer and former student who committed this atrocious act of violence towards them.

This sounds impossible for some.  And for some, it is.   However, with God all things are possible.  As the prayers rise, as the vigils and ceremonies are conducted, as the impassioned speeches are delivered — I pray that the people of Parkland Florida will feel the prayers of a nation, and even a world, who ultimately cares more about peace … and progress … than simply more power.

O God, let us humbly bow in Your Presence in the days ahead, to honor, and to love, and to cherish the memories of the fallen in Parkland.  Help us to speak life, and wisdom, and genuine compassion for the families and friends remaining.  We ask for wisdom in the days to come as we seek answers to the very difficult questions that are before us as a People, as a Nation, and as your Children.

(c)2004 Jared Anderson | Vertical Worship Songs
Lord, hear our cry
Come heal our land
Breathe life into these dry and thirsty souls
Lord hear our prayer
Forgive our sin
And as we call on Your Name
Would you make this a place
For Your glory to dwell
Open the blind eyes
Unlock the deaf ears
Come to Your people
As we draw near
Hear us from Heaven
Touch our generation
We are Your people
Crying out in desperation