When I say angry, I do not mean miffed. Annoyed. Upset. I mean angry. The kind of angry where your face gets hot and steam shoots out of your ears.
I say that it is.
If you have experienced abuse, you can get angry. If you’ve suffered a deep betrayal, you can get angry. You can get angry about anything. To say that you cannot, is to censor your feelings, which are very often justified. Getting angry at Mark Driscoll for leading a church that has been exposed as spiritually abusive towards many people, especially if you are one of many who has been spiritually abused? Justified. Getting angry at all those priests and pastors who have recently been accused of sexual abuse in the state of Minnesota? Justified.
Anger is a lot like grief. In fact, in psychology, it is listed as the second response to grief. People saying all “the right things” does not help. When you experience grief, so many people are there with their two cents: “It’s part of God’s plan. He never gives us more than we handle. I’ll pray for you.” It feels like you are not allowed to rant, you are not allowed to get out that out. If you stay silent, it simmers. It brews. It poisons.
People, Christians included, need to be allowed to get angry, to ask God, “Why?” The entire book of Job is dedicated to one man’s rantings and ravings. His friends try to help, but they just make things worse.
In the end, it’s Job and God. That’s where healing really begins. Anger needs to be healed, just as grief does. And it only happens between an individual and God. People, with all their wise words, their scolding, their attempted empathy, all fade into the background. That’s where anger can turn into something else.