Summary: Making Anger serve you
Deadly Sins and Transforming Virtues Series - 4
A friend of mine on Facebook, a mature Christian, started a post this way last Monday morning ...
While out with my family after church yesterday ... I got my attention, as did the story she went on to tell.
We were eating lunch at Applebees. A couple came in with a child of about 6 and a child that was likely between 10-12. The 10-12 year old was in a portable wheelchair, I could tell she had cerebral palsy. I've worked with many young people with cerebral palsy. She had on a waist strap and no other protection. I can tell you that people with this cannot control their movements... so this girl was flailing all over she should have had a shoulder harness and straps on her feet, there wasn't a foot rest on her chair .. she also was making sounds.. obviously trying to get her parents attention. At one point the father got up yanked her back up in her chair and reprimanded her for as he called it " having a tantrum" She wasn't having a tantrum, folks.
The parents and other child proceeded to be served drinks, appetizers and a meal while this girl sat in her chair watching them eat and drooling. At one point the father turned to her and said" Oh you want my steak, you can't chew it" That was the only other interaction given to this girl. Her mother completely ignored her. She had on a light weight jogger type outfit and socks.. no shoes.. no coat.. no hat..
I was so upset I couldn't eat my food. At one point when I went to go to the bathroom I stopped and asked if I could
speak to their daughter.. the dad looked at me oddly but said yes. I said hi to her.. I asked him her name and addressed her by her name.. I told her she is beautiful and her smile lit up the entire restaurant.
I was actually checking her out somewhat. so yes she was clean, her clothes were clean.. she had no sign of abuse although she was thin but not emaciated..her shirt was pulled up so I could see her stomach and she didn't have a feeding tube so that wasn't an issue, her chair was filthy though.
And so I went to the bathroom and cried and pulled myself together and as my family left, these people were getting in their vehicle and I took down their license plate number..
With much prayer I am going to make some calls to see about getting a well check done on this girl. If this family is not getting support with her they need to be because what I saw was not ok, even if she couldn't chew her food.. they could have brought her food she could eat and interacted with her during this outing.. If they aren't neglect/abusing they are on their way to it.
I cannot read those words without tearing up with sadness and tensing up with anger!
That may seem a strange way to introduce a message in this series about Vice and Virtue that will be about anger, but to me, it is great illustration of the importance of being passionate and capable of allowing anger to move you to action! My friend is not an activist. She is a quiet kind woman, who went with her gut and asked the authorities to look in on that situation. I don’t know how it turned out, nor does she. But, I admire her willingness to ‘get involved’ spurred by her indignation.
On Valentine’s Day as the news of the Parkland school shooting broke, I felt myself stirred. Later that evening after our Bible Study, the news brought the update - 17 dead! Something inside of me felt a surge of anger- a willingness to say that this is not right, that we must face the fact that we are broken society, that we can no longer just pass it off as the actions of a person who is mentally ill. Apparently many others felt that way as the voices of thousands asked us to think hard about who we are and what we do.
Then, a second tragedy unfolded as people vented rage some even asking that Nicholas Cruz be subjected to a long, slow execution! Whoa! But, there is a dramatic example of the violence that can grow out of disordered anger!
Somebody joked recently that Christians are reading the Bible wrong. They seem to forget that it says more about anger than sex. I don’t know if that is true, but I do know there are some very clear and practical words about anger in my Bible.