Where to Go with our Anger

A tight face and words that won’t come except spit from gasps of anger.

Seven years old and the wii game’s referee intentionally calls bad games he believes, leaving him stomping. Damming up joy.

He runs, hits.  Tears stream from slammed shut eyes.

Real or perceived injustice,  it still stings.

The question is: Where to go with this anger building?

David too cried out from the pain of real injustice…went straight to the Father with angry laments.  Then, David’s prayers, joyful or pain-wrenched were included in the Spirit-inspired scripture.

(Can we ask for laments to be Spirit-inspired ?)

And then for millenia, we have sung them as worship:”The arrogant are attacking me, O God; a band of ruthless men seeks my life–men without regard for you.” (Psalm 86:14)

Did you know? Over half of the Psalms are lament Psalms.

I put this music on, handed him sheets of lined paper to write, cry out to God.

I wish I had learned to lament to the Father early, learned where to go with the building pain.

“Our emotions are neutral,” I tell them. “It is where we go with them that counts.”

20 minutes later, Caedmon is sprawled out on the couch, looking like a Golden Retriever tired from playing.

I see his lament…scribbled in red ink across the page. I tell him that after David drained all his anger (uncensored “dash their children against a stone”) out in prayer, he would turn and ask God to come into the pain, to transform his anger.  The question is: God where are you in all of this? I pray with Caedmon for that transformation.  “Jesus, show him Your truth and how much You love him and will always be with him.”

How do you feel now? I ask my boy, drinking rest.  He breathes easily.  Smiles slow.  “Fine. Peace.”

If Jesus already died to carry our pain, lamenting is one way of nailing it to the cross.

There is no Easter for those who do not first cling to the cross.


Summer Gross






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  1. What excellent points. I’m often working on “be angry but sin not” with my grandchildren. What an excellent way of doing it. I’m definitely going to have to remember this with my grandkids. Thank you!

  2. Oh, how I love the way you didn’t shrug off your son’s anger over a wii game.. okay, I’m totally convicted now. My typical response to video game injustice is to remind my boys “it’s not REAL LIFE anyway” but YOU taught a real life lesson instead. I’m inspired and humbled and going to go find a red pen and some paper to tuck right beside the wii just in case we have an unfair game sometime soon!

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