“We’re blasted by anger and swamped by rage…” Proverbs 27:4
One hot summer evening, my mom, dad, and my brother Gary and I went to the local swimming pool together. Dad had never done anything like this before, and of course, I was excited about swimming with him. I chased him across the pool, and got a bit too close. His little toe caught my knee, and for a whole week, he sat in his chair in the living room with his foot elevated to heal the broken toe. It was an accident, and yet I could see the anger in his eyes and felt the wrath from losing a week of work as a carpenter.
Shakyamuni, the Budda, wrote this about anger: “If one comes across a person who has been shot by an arrow, one does not spend time wondering about where the arrow came from, or the caste of the individual who shot it, or analyzing what type of wood the shaft is made of, or the manner in which the arrowhead was fashioned. Rather, one should focus on immediately pulling out the arrow.”
My dad seemed quick to anger when he and mom were raising us kids. I learned to read the anger and stay clear of him until he calmed down. Fortunately, as he grew older, he mellowed. It was as if somehow he finally pulled out the arrow of anger he’d lived with for many years.
Lord, help us pull the source of anger out of our hearts. Amen.