Friday, July 27, 2012

Anger. Fear. Windshield Smashing.

I needed to get away tonight. I packed my dumb old backpack with books and paper and colored pencils and I got on my bike and I tried to find a place to sit where I could be by myself. It turns out that all the places where you can be by yourself are also prime places one could get assaulted. I couldn't shake the feeling. I tried. I sat down and tried to still my mind but I kept checking over my shoulder. A man drove by slowly in his car and stared at me. I wanted to run after him. I wanted to throw my bike at his windshield. I wanted to punch him in the face. I wanted to scream at him, “stop making the world unsafe!” It was then I realized I was feeling a little angry and a little out of control.

I've been hearing a lot of stories lately, about people who hurt other people. And I'm trying to be eloquent about this, but the best I can do is that I'm just pissed. I'm angry that a man can walk into a movie theater and open fire. I'm angry that parents are too busy smoking pot to realize their daughter is being abused in the next room. I'm angry that a man can decide he is going to put drugs in a woman's drink and mess with her life and walk away. I'm really, really angry.

And I just want to write some letters or give some speeches or buy a billboard or run for president or chain myself to a tree or something so that I can just yell to the world, “STOP THIS! Stop this and look at what you're doing! Stop and look at what you've done!” So I can scream out, “DO BETTER! Do better church! Do better parents! Do better people who are supposed to be protecting but are choosing to hurt!” And I want to ask why? Why? Why?

It seems so cruel, that we are all packaged together into one communal people. As much as we try to pretend we are individuals, it's impossible. We forget until we remember that what one part does affects the whole. And I'm sitting under a tree and I'm writing and suddenly I want to throw my bike at God's windshield. What sort of plan is this? How do you do this everyday? Why aren't you freaking out? STOP THIS! DO BETTER! 

I'm looking for grace. I'm looking for a place in my heart past this anger and fear and I'm looking for a place that forgives even though it can't comprehend. God is edging in on me with that whisper of his, “I have come to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners...” I stop him. I stop him with my pen hard on the page: “WHY brokenhearted at all? WHY captives at all? WHY darkness at all?” And he whispers it still, “to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion...” He breaks my heart and I whisper, “I know. I know about redemption. I know about your provision. I know about your comfort. What about your justice?”

And then he said, “What did you lose, Kylee, that I did not give back to you abundantly?”
I hadn't realized we were talking about me.
“What was taken, Kylee, that I did not give you something better for? This is who I am.”

I love his answer. I hate his answer. I want more answers. I can't yet accept his answer because it would mean too much would have to change about my heart. What are the implications of this? And what is our role in the “STOP IT!” And the “DO BETTER!”? When do we trust his justice and when do we make justice happen and when do we trust his grace and when do we give our own? Maybe these aren't the right questions. Jesus, have mercy on me. Lord, I want to see.