An Open & Angry Prayer

“Lord, You know I’m not tellin’ You anything You don’t know. As time goes on, this seething rage inside me just seems to get worse. I know I’m supposed to be loving and kind, and I’m trying. You know I’m trying, but I’m not there.

“Perhaps it’s my fault. Maybe I don’t read the Bible enough or pray enough or go to church often enough or WHATEVER enough.

“Furthermore, You know I’ve struggled with anger since I was a kid. It started out with family issues, and then a gradual bitterness grew in my spirit from all the chronic pain I was suffering, and from the depression I just couldn’t seem to shake.

“I’m a fallen man, we both know that. But lately I feel moreso…

“Everywhere I turn, the world is getting angrier, crazier, more violent. I’m keeping my eyes on You, Jesus. I really am. I just wish I could attain a spirit of calm while doing so.

“The world my son and grandson are growing up in is not the one I grew up in, and I’m sorry God but that ticks me off!!! My friends and I could play outside without having to worry about getting kidnapped or raped or beat down. We could walk the train tracks for hours, leaving after breakfast and ‘home by supper,’ as Grandma would say, without a single thought about something bad happening.

“But this world, Lord, it’s just ugly and loud, and I hate it. I HATE it! Everywhere I turn, people are trying to cut each other down, verbally, metaphorically and, yes, even physically. People just keep getting nastier, and we’re supposed to sit back and forgive them. I know that’s Your will, Jesus, but You know it’s difficult. Heck, I’ve told people, ‘If the Lord can forgive His murderers, I can forgive someone for cutting me off in traffic!’ Yeah, well, that’s easier said than done.

“And I’m not a bad person. You know thousands, millions of Christians feel the same way. It’s just that we paste on this mask of supposed perfection, and post smiling pictures of ourselves on Facebook, pretending everything is perfect. But You know the truth, Lord. You see all and know all.

“That’s actually comforting, come to think of it.

“Then there’s the issue of my chronic pain. It’s gotten so much worse, and makes me wanna cry out at night. If my family wouldn’t think less of me, I would cry. I don’t care if that sounds ‘too feminine’ for a 50-year-old, 270 pound male. I don’t care! I’m sick of this, God.

“I’m sick sick sick sick sick of it! I can’t pick up my grandson, and I can’t wrestle with my son, gosh dangit. I know people say, ‘There’s always someone in worse shape than you,’ and ‘think of all the people in wheelchairs and dead and blardy blardy blar…’ Yeah, I can pretend that helps, but it doesn’t, God. It doesn’t help when I wake up at 3:30 in the morning and can barely pull myself out of bed, my body screaming in pain from lying in the same position too long.

“I know I paint the ‘I’m fine’ smile on every day, but this is just You and me here, God, and I’m just opening my heart and being honest with You.

“I’m tired. I’m angry and I’m freaking exhausted.

“But in the dead of night, I give You praise, Jesus. I praise You for my amazing, patient, beautiful and understanding wife, Laura. I thank You for my amazing kids, Jess and Trey, and my son-in-law, Big Josh. I honestly couldn’t ask for better kids, Lord. They’re so accomplished and driven and loving and humble, and I have You to thank for that.

“I thank You for my oft-times kooky and all-times entertaining grandson, Joshua. Little Joshy; oh how I love that boy, God. Thanks so much for giving him to us. Thanks for all the joy he’s brought into our lives.

“Man, when he was eating cereal from between his toes the other day…wow, I laughed myself silly. What a goof! He’s a green laser light in a dark room, that one. He’s a breath of clean, crisp air in an otherwise acrid world.

“Finally, Lord, thanks for always being there. Thanks for putting up with me. Thanks for saving me, not because of but in spite of myself.

“I feel better, Lord. I sense a fresh, spring breeze coming. Chase all the anger away, Lord. Give me strength to fight one more day.

“And tomorrow, I’ll ask of You the same.

“Whew. Breathing a little easier now, Lord.

“Thanks for listening.

“I love You. You know that. Always will.

“Amen.”

a-me-angry

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