Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Anger (01/24/05)
TITLE: Into the Fire
By Steven Beres
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To say I idolized him would be to miss the point; if he had known I would have received a gentle lecture on the One to whom I owed my devotion, Our Lord, Jesus. He was kind and gentle and quick to smile, self-effacing and a perfect example of a man living for Christ.
One weekend night I was allowed to stay up late as my uncle fitted the hood to his latest custom creation. Blessed by God with a brilliant mind and hands that could build anything his brain designed, I watched in awe as he patiently fitted, adjusted and refitted the hood, looking for the perfection he demanded of himself. An hour of this work brought me the shock of my life.
With a cry of rage, my uncle suddenly ripped the hood from the car with his bare hands and within a minute reduced it to a crumpled ball of metal with a two-pound sledgehammer! I was stunned and couldn't move, or even breathe. He stood over the mangled metal like a mighty Vulcan with his hammer. Then it slipped from his fingers as wracking sobs shook his body. He fell to his knees crying and beseeching God to forgive his sin and gradually his anger, almost palpable in the garage, slipped away, and he again became the uncle I knew. He stood and hugged me, asking my forgiveness, too.
I learned more about anger and God in that few minutes than a hundred lectures could have taught. I learned that we are all human and no one of us is perfect and despite our best efforts we will sin! But I also learned that as quick as we are to sin, God is that quick to forgive a contrite heart.
That happened forty-five years ago, but it is as fresh in my mind as if it were yesterday. Especially when I must ask God for my own forgiveness. After all, I had the perfect example.
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