Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dealing With Anger

I leave for Boston in the morning to hear several prominent speakers from my profession. The purpose of the 36 hour event is to bolster one's enthusiasm level for the business. It's promoters have given it the rather odd name of "The Coaching Forum". I have chosen to go for three reasons. First, my enthusiasm level for this business is in dire need of bolstering. Second, the list of speakers includes two that I actually want to hear, and third, all my expenses are being paid.

This has been an odd day. It started well.  I got a lot done at the office, set several appointments for next week, and although I did lose a case that I had worked on back in February, I also managed to open a new case during an annual review with an old client. Then I went home to eat some lunch and saw that the weather forecast for Saturday in Richmond was for a 70% chance of rain. Instead of lunch I decided to cut the grass and get it done before Boston. Afterwards, I took a shower and headed out to Mom and Dad's to pay some bills for them. Once there, I learned that their plans for breakfast at Debbie's with some church friends had been cancelled because Dad had fallen on his way to take out the trash. It seems that he was left laying on the ground for over twenty minutes since he could neither get up unassisted, nor get Mom's attention. Mom finally saw him through the window and immediately called a nearby friend to help. The friend arrived about the time as the church friends showed up to take them to breakfast. Thankfully Dad was not injured in the fall, but it was all a bit too much for one day, so the breakfast outing would have to be rescheduled.

Although Dad looked fine physically when he was telling me the story, I noticed a trace of embarrassment on his face. How awful it must have been for him to be found laying helpless in the yard in front of his friends, unable to get up under his own power. Mom had brought a blanket to wrap him in since the grass was heavy with dew and dad was cold. As he told me the details, I felt a familiar anger rising up in my heart. How could God allow my father to get to the point where  every other day brings some fresh visitation of physical decay. Why would God not spare his faithful servant the indignity of it all? Of course, I know the answer, I know what all of my spiritually mature friends would say to me, if I shared my anger and frustration. And, they would be right. I'm quite aware of the mysteriousness of God's ways. I know about Job. I have committed to memory all of the verses about how in our weakness he is made strong. Still, I look into my Dad's eyes and see the frustration, and because I love him, the anger rises.

When I left them, they seemed fine. I returned to the office and finished up a few things, then went home for the day. Pam had bought a two pound pork loin home for dinner. It was nice out so I cooked it on the grill, 35 minutes at 425 degrees. As I sat next to the grill listening to it pop and sizzle, the anger began to recede. Soon it was all gone, replaced by simple melancholy. Tomorrow in Boston even that will be gone, until the next time.