Maybe you react to anger very responsibly. I on the other hand, tend to temporarily enforce a semi-silent treatment, or roll my eyes and make glaring mean-mom faces, or start lots of sentences with “Why can’t…?” in an accusatory
voice. Oh, and I do lots of really grumpy sighs, too. Yah, I know, really mature.
I read a book last week that made me look at relationships a lot differently. The author made a really cool analogy that I’ve thought about several times since. He pointed out how after dislocating a shoulder, the main character did not get angry at the shoulder or treat it roughly as a reaction to the pain it caused him, but rather nursed it and cared for it gently. It was a part of him, and had to be treated in a way to make his whole being better again. This story was then tied in to the scripture in the Bible (1 Corinthians 12) about the body of Christ:
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. • • •
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Anyway, since our goal is to be at one with Christ, and at one with each other, we should be much more forgiving and nurturing towards others even when they hurt us or cause us pain, like He is with us.
Naturally, the people I should be the most “at one” with are my husband and children. This analogy opened my eyes to the fact that I sinfully tend to give them the cold shoulder or use my “I’m annoyed” tone of voice or give thoughtless sarcastic answers with them when they (probably unintentionally) bug me, hurt my feelings, or cause me inconvenience. But I would never try to act gruffly like that to an injured part of my own body, even if it were hurting me; I would care for it and give it even more nurture than normal. Well, I feel like I haven’t been able to explain my self well, but I hope it made some sense to someone.
The point is, in the last little while, I’m trying to work on reacting to my own “suffering” with a greater dose of kindness toward the cause of that suffering. Just one more thing to work on in the quest to become a little more Christ-like. (That grumpy sigh part will be tricky to overcome. Wish me luck.)
(This entry was originally posted Sept. 3, 2008. I’m rebuilding my lost archives.)