One of my favorite comic book characters growing up was the Hulk. I mean come on, he was a huge green monster that got to destroy things when he was mad, how cool is that? During my high school years I found the Hulk very relateable as I, myself, seemed to more frequently turn into a monster and destroy things every time I got angry. Anger has always been my default and my immediate reaction to any situation in which I’m not sure quite how to respond. More times than not, I found myself in fights, usually on the behalf of the weak, and many times they landed me in rough situations. As I have grown older I can see the danger of my anger and the destruction it leaves in its wake. There were times I would go ballistic over something insignificant simply because I so deeply hated myself that I found fault in anything. My anger was the main thing that kept me from really listening to the message of Grace for a long time because if I started believing in grace that meant I had to let go of all the anger I harbored towards people. I have made major strides in learning how to manage the green beast within my own heart, although, there are times when I find it to be increasingly difficult. This week I found myself face to face with my monster. Innocence walked in on conspiracy and I overheard a conversation that was most definitely not meant for my ears. On a side note, be careful what you say because you never know who may be on down the hall listening to your hatred. Anyway, my accidental ease dropping began a massive inward war as the creature inside me clawed at the walls of my heart, trying desperately to make its way into the light and wreak havoc. Grace, quickly following behind it, stitching up the scratches it left behind. It is in moments like these that I usually end up at the dining room table of my pastor and friend where I am greeted with strong coffee and strong arms to wrap me in a hug and remind me that I am loved. The conversation starts with me ranting and raving about how I just don’t understand God sometimes and how I wish he would just give those evil people what they deserve. Then he reminds me that if God did that then it meant He would have to do the same to me. He simply lets my Hulk run wild while he calmly sips his coffee and listens. Then, eventually, it wears itself out and he fills me with words of love and grace as he softly reminds me that grace is even for the anti-gracers. There are churches out there, religious people, that teach a duty driven faith heaped in law and driven by guilt. I believe Satan is the father of these churches. I don’t like them, but I also don’t have to live in them. It’s ok to walk away sometimes. It’s ok to stop fighting. Sometimes you just have to live your life and let grace come out in everything you do and wait for the hurting to run to you. Our job is to comfort the persecuted; it is not to punish the oppressors. Let them have their empty religion and let us draw people to our overflowing relationship. Quiet your Hulk; you will be amazed how dangerous you become.
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