Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)
TITLE: Dirty racka fraten rotten philly umber
By Ed VanDeMark
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The popular theory concerning expressing anger is essentially: Pollyanna need not apply here. We want real men who stink when they sweat, spit tobacco juice when they’re irritated and swear when they’re mad. As a Christian, I have a checkered history when it comes to handling my anger. I’ve noticed mere faith in Jesus alone doesn’t change that, for me and for most of my Christian friends.
I rarely get mad at people and when I do, I’m never violent in either word or deed. I do, however, get angry at uncooperative things. From time to time when I bust my knuckles turning a wrench, it can be located on the floor immediately below the wall it just bounced off. Bubble wrap was designed by evil men who conferred with Satan for the express purpose of getting under my skin. In total frustration, I’ve destroyed the contents of the package. Such is the resolve of my anger, it demands I defeat the package at any cost.
When I was in my early teens the neighbor’s Tom turkey (this bird wandered the neighborhood attacking old people and small children) had my little brother pinned against a rose hedge. I grabbed a baseball bat and charged old Tom. We jumped two barbed wire fences without breaking stride. Bat swinging violent circles over my head and Tom squawking for mercy, we raced thru the grazing meadow and across the 40 acre hay field. Neither of us gained on the other. Finally, winded, old Tom stood breast deep in the middle of the Owego creek. Energy and anger spent, I went home. Several days later Tom reappeared. It took me at least a dozen Thanksgiving dinners to finally forgive this unrepentant bird.
My kids came home from school referring to folks as a human organ located immediately below the midpoint rear portion of the human body. While it’s as much pagan as it is Christian, I counseled. “If you feel you really must refer to a person in this way, at least call them a “body part.” Please don’t be quite this specific next time.
My mother didn’t tell us we couldn’t say “Shut Up”, she however insisted whenever we said “Shut Up” it be done with a smile on our face.
One of my former co-workers sat quietly while a man exhausted himself with an angry outburst. When he’d spent all of his energy, she cut loose on him with an angry tirade of her own. Her rant was at least twice as angry as his had been. When she finished, she paused, then flashed a big grin and added. “How did you like that?”
My brother did contract work at a local foundry. He over heard the following conversation. “I got drunk last Friday, went home and knocked the wife around a little. Then I went to bed. Next thing I knew, she was sitting at the foot of the bed with a butcher knife in her hand. She said “Go to sleep you SOB, go to sleep.” He continued. “I haven’t been home since Friday.
A man with a badly bruised face commented. “You know how you’re always telling yourself. “I should have said that?” …I said it.”
My friend, Bob, uses three expressions to make his anger known. In so doing he communicates his discontent, but in a way that dulls the cutting edge that usually accompanies anger. The first expression comes from the old Papermate commercials. It goes something like “dirty*racka*fraten*rotten*philly*umber.” The second one is “That’s enough to tick off the Easter Bunny.” Finally, if he’s angry enough to punch out a penguin he says “That’s enough to hack off the Pope.”
Most of us have seen and displayed good and bad expressions of anger. Jesus modeled righteous anger when he turned over the temple money changer’s tables. The Pharisee’s used trumped up charges to have him crucified on a cross. Some exhibitions of anger are appropriate while others aren’t. Waiting until angers lightening flashes across my being to decide how I’ll handle a circumstance, is too late. Using anger appropriately needs to be a life style decision I practice daily, as I encounter life’s minor irritations. As faithful as I may be in my walk with Jesus, appropriate expressions of anger, aren’t always a natural part of my all too human make up.
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