I have a problem. I love to get angry. Not just run of the mill ‘Donald Trump’s hair is so stupid’ angry, but righteously angry. The good and juicy kind. For an INTP like me, the world is my oyster. There are just soooo many things to be good and pissed about. Things like shady vaccine manufacturers, organizations that rhyme with Manned Marenthood and Me W, and the misuse of the phrase “Hakuna Matata”.
But, here’s the problem, I’m a Christian.
Well, that’s not really a problem. That’s the solution of all solutions. But it leaves me feeling kind of Auntie Em at the beginning of the Wizard of Oz when the Witch (before she’s the Witch, she’s just the neighbor who wants to kill Toto) is over at the farm, demanding Toto on a silver platter and Auntie Em’s all full of righteous indignation and she starts to lay into the witch, “I’ve been wanting to say something to you for 20 years!” and she’s pointing and you’re all like, Get her, Auntie Em! Screw that Toto killing witch!, and then Auntie Em drops her finger and says tremulously, “But I’m a Christian woman so I won’t,” and runs out the room after Dorothy.
That’s basically me. I am Auntie Em. You might think that a person who originally titled her blog, “The Gentle Way”, would be, well, gentle. But I’m not. Not really. I want to be. I feel like I need to be. But I need encouragement. That was what the blog title was meant to be. Well, maybe not encouragement, more like a scheme to ensure I’d feel like a total hypocrite if I wasn’t more gentle.
I’m trying, people.
Ok, moving on. As we’re speaking of silver platters and all, there’s another side to this dilemma.
This guy. (It’s John the Baptist, you heathens. Just kidding I love you)
This guy was not Auntie Em. Can you imagine if he had been there on the farm when the old witch was trying to sacrifice poor Toto? (Yes, I realize this is a ridiculous hypothetical.) It would have been on.
And Jesus, let’s not forget about Jesus! I believe the correct word for what He did is Upbraiding.
It’s not like He said, “I’ve been wanting to say something to you moneychangers for years! But, I won’t, because I’m God.” That might not have been quite as effective.
I feel like ever since I became a Christian in earnest, I have been striving to become quiet, meek, humble. Believe me, this is not a task I worked very hard on when I was not a Christian. But, sometimes I wonder, am I meek? Or am I just politically correct?
I want to please God.
I want to be like Christ.
I don’t give a damn about being politically correct.
Penelope Trunk is so raw. I’m pretty sure she would hate me if we ever met but I don’t care. I love her. She calls out people left and right. She obliterates so many of the stupid pc ideals that I hate. Of course, it helps that she basically has the same values I do (aside from the fact she’s not a Christian) and hates most of the things I hate. I always like that in a person.
Stories of An Unschooling Family is the total opposite, and I love her, Sue Elvis, for the opposite reason. She’s so soft. So gentle. She never tries to come off as an authority or expert. She’s like, this works for me, maybe you should try it? As far as I know, she’s never taken the trouble to call out some figure for their idiocy. She’s just nice and kind and I am certain she would love me if we ever met. She’s not Auntie Em. She’s Glenda.
(I hope that paragraph doesn’t seem cheeky. I really do love Sue’s blog and try to emulate her in my own home.)
So my question is this: can you be both? Is it possible to be meek and humble, submissive to man and God while also confronting evil head on? Is that the answer? To be wise as serpents and gentle as doves? In my pre-Christian life, I was a serpent with little to no dove qualities. Since I have become a Christian I have struggled to be all dove, hiding my fangs under my feathers each time they poked through. I don’t feel like either of these positions is what God is calling me to embody.
If I could read people’s minds and hearts, like Christ,
or if I were just really, really smart, like GK Chesterton,
then maybe I could do it. Be a clever snake/bird. But, half the time, I’m not even sure if what I think of as evil is truly evil. What if I’m wrong? Or what if I’m right but I drive people away from Christ because they think I’m a jerk and I’m a Christian so all Christians must be jerks? What if God wants me to not care if people think I’m a jerk?
These are all the questions swirling around in my mind today, and most days. If you have any insight, I’d love to hear it.