On Tuesday morning I was crabby -the kind of crabby that you know is unreasonable but that rises up inside you as a great beast.
I was afraid for the very safety of my guys.
My son had left a mess where he had been sitting in the living room the night before, and I could not believe the anger boiling inside me -a feeling out of proportion to the insignificance of the crime. I knew all this was coming from two days of travel and pent up grieving and a certain hormonal event that I will not talk about over the internet.
Lord Jesus, please help me not to hurt that child when he comes down the stairs for school, I prayed.
Down he came, and I swallowed big mouth fulls of lecturing words, spoke kindly to him, kissed him on the cheek, and wished him a good day at school.
He did not even know to thank God when he left the house unscathed.
On that same crabby day, I was scrolling on Facebook. You know, because I didn’t have anything to unpack or laundry to do after being gone for days. It seemed that every third post had a picture of men in orange jumpsuits, backed by men in black.
Incomprehensible such evil.
But on that day I was experiencing my own brush with evil. My own anger threatened to do its work of cruelty through me.
Paul tells the Roman believers:
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21 NIV)
When we feel darkness rise up within us, in the power of Christ we can do good instead of bad. We can suck in angry words, speak kindly, be gracious. We can serve instead of demand. We can kiss instead of strike.
We are the people God has dressed in white.
Imagine us all in a line, dressed from head-to-toe in spotless garments -standing only a foot behind our husbands, our children, our co-workers. What good can we do toward these people?
How can we benefit them?
How can we encourage them?
How can we speak life to them?
By the grace of God, this week I overcame the black shadow of crabby and replaced it with kindness.
What darkness can you overcome?