Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Anger (01/24/05)
TITLE: Anger's Sermon
By Angie Schulte
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Seething, his face red, he practically screamed the words out. “I have spent time with every one of you people. I have held your hands when…when everyone else had fled. I was the one…the one who fought for you when no one else would. I have rights.”
He halted momentarily as his wrath began to grow even larger and overtake him. “And…and now you have the audacity to say I have no place in your lives. You’ve taken up with some fool named Love, and a stumbling, bumbling idiot called Forgiveness. Are you out of your minds? How are these two nuts ever gonna do anything for you? Are they gonna protect you like I have?”
He slapped the podium once again with the palm of his hand. As the sound rang out, people in the congregation began to guiltily move about and avoid the gaze he pinned them down with. Some cowered or cringed in their pews. Others began to question their decision about letting Love and Forgiveness move into their homes. Perhaps, maybe, Anger was right. He seemed so certain… so sure.
Then in that one quiet moment, the door to the back vestibule opened and Love and Forgiveness softly walked in and up the center isle to stand before the podium. At first, Anger stared them down, and then he mockingly spoke, “What brings you two out tonight?
Love spoke first, her voice soothing the tension that had built up in the room. “Anger, we came to see you.”
Anger stepped back as if hit. “I…well, I…”He stopped, and then started again, indignantly. “I won’t leave. It’s my right. ”
Forgiveness quietly responded. “Yes, you do belong. There is a place for you here. When injustice occurs, we need for you stand by our side and fight for the world to change. Anger, you are the part of us that stands up for what is right and wrong. Your purpose, the one thing you were sent to do is to let ourselves and others know that something is wrong.”
Before Anger could respond, Love moved up the steps and stood beside him taking his hand. “But, your job is not to, as Billy Sunday would put it, blow everything to pieces. This isn’t a war in which no prisoners will be taken. Yesterday, when little Betsy came to you to play. You stomped all over her heart. It was the first time she had spoken in the year since her mother had died.”
Anger visibly wilted, then righted himself. “Well, I…I didn’t know. Someone should…”
Love gently interrupted. “If you hadn’t been so busy growing with self righteousness and self importance, when you felt left out, you would have known.”
Anger, who had always meant well, was finally silent. He turned to walk away and then stopped. Love and Forgiveness both waited as they understood Anger’s silence. Anger came back to stand behind the podium. He quietly looked out among the congregation. He looked once more to both Love and Forgiveness, and then he spoke. “Sometimes, I feel like I am being taken over by someone whom I do not know. This other person gives me the right to march over whatever is in my path. Yesterday, when I heard that you all did not need me anymore, I felt like marching and destroying whatever was in my way. This time it was a little girl.”
Anger sadly shook his head at the memory of her sad little eyes as she turned away from him. He winced and continued. “I’m sorry. I know that I have said it a hundred times before, but yesterday, I hurt the most precious gift I have, my own little girl. Since Claire died, I haven’t been much use to my congregation or my daughter.” He looked once more to Love and Forgiveness, and they moved forward to stand beside him. He looked out his congregation once more, and pleaded. “One more chance?”
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