“Anger does not solve anything. It does not build anything, but it can destroy everything.”

• Lawrence Douglas Wilder

I once knew of a man who gave his entire life in a flash of rage. Murdered someone. In a fit of rage, he destroyed a life. It devastated several lives. It certainly demolished his own life. The time in prison, however, was a time of recollection and recovery. He refused to characterize himself for what was, ultimately, his worst moment. He was able to do that in an encounter with the Spirit of the living Christ. He was a changed man, although all his days would be tainted by that moment of madness. However, such was the grace that this man had received, he knew that he was no longer judged. He was no longer judging himself and had learned to turn his regret into intentional restitution.

He learned something else about anger.

Anger wasn’t all there was. Far below there was something important, as if there was an alluvial quality to his emotions that he hadn’t yet tapped into. He discovered something in the peace of God. In the calm waters of his own soul a pool of sadness always present in his material identity appeared to him. There he found such empathy for himself, guided there by the Presence of the Lord, that he forgave himself for those horrible behaviors. He saw that fear generated sadness for what it was. It made sense and acceptance was allowed.

Anger was simply the masquerade of a deep-seated irreconcilable sadness that ran irrepressible inside and throbbed incessantly like an undercurrent in his life.

The moment he agreed to make a pilgrimage to his pain was the moment he was cured of the need for anger.


Anger needs a confident expression, and that is through honesty expressed as sadness or fear.

May God bless you in your anger, as it invites you to deepen your pain, so that you can travel with it, towards a vast and deep emotional healing.

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