Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Rage (violent, uncontrolled hatred and anger) (02/05/15)
- TITLE: Understanding Andrew
By Sylvia Young
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A roar of frustration was set loose from his lungs. He couldn’t bear it. His fist pounded the floor near me. I was still not afraid. I had not incurred his wrath, and somewhere in his mind, he knew that and did not hurt me. And yet, I felt responsible. God had given me a precious gift and I needed to take care of it.
“There, there,” I crooned. I reached out and stroked his sweaty brow. He writhed on the floor as though demons were attacking him. All the books I had read had not prepared me for this. Was I really so inadequate? What is the cause of this torment?
I swept the blocks to the side and lay down on the floor next to my small son. The tower that refused to be built higher than his own frame now lay scattered across the carpet.
My soothing tone and soft touch did nothing to assuage his frustration. All I could do was be near him. Body tense, face contorted, fist clenched, the child did not resemble the one I bore. Where was this rage coming from? The passion went unabated. His nose began to bleed and his face became alarmingly red.
Inspiration struck. Other mothers might raise an eyebrow or shake their heads at my method, but in my young mother’s mind, it seemed reasonable. When something burns up, you offset it with cold.
Determined, I scooped him up and headed to the bathroom. I deposited him, fully clothed, into the shower and turned it on…cold.
He started, gasped and then whimpered. He stared up at me in shock…but his raging had ceased.
Stripping him and then quickly bundling him up in a thick warm blanket, I held him close to my heart and rocked. We sat on the bathroom floor together for ten minutes or more, rocking back and forth. Some melody of a nonsense song spilled forth from my lips and the crying turned to hiccups and finally a soft sigh. His anger spent, he slept.
After moving him to his crib, I lingered over the side. What had I just witnessed? Not being predisposed to such anger, I couldn’t understand it. I had some remembrance of a similar temper from my brother, but our age difference was so great, that he had mostly tamed it by the time I was of an age to clearly remember it.
I had lavished love on this boy since birth. This outburst was not the result of neglect or abuse, but of something deeper, something innate. I had not fostered nor displayed such a trait. Neither my husband nor myself had suffered violence or rage in our homes and were unprepared for this episode.
Can a person be born angry, raging at the injustice of the world? If so, my son was.
As the years have gone by, I still see the emotion, simmering. I have tempered it with love, consequences and counselling. Or rather, I feel I have. I fear that one day, it will spill forth and cause irrevocable destruction. I pray against it. I sometimes cry with frustration and feel my own anger burn at the futility of it. What is the purpose of this emotion?
Every emotion must be for something. Each one must spur us onto to greatness, and that’s what I pray for my son. I pray that this inborn anger will one day be molded into righteous indignation and impel him to fight against the injustice in this world. I pray that he will harness this great energy and use it for good, that many will be inspired by him, by his passion. I choose to hope, rather than despair, that God will use this child in a mighty way. He allowed this emotion in my child, and I believe that one day, in His hands, it will be used for His glory.
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