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Tim's Tales August 2021

"But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”  Psalm 86:15

While checking his bags at the airport, a man became indignant with the employee who checked his luggage. For several minutes he belittled the young worker and criticized his every move.     Surprisingly, the worker didn’t seem troubled by the man’s verbal abuse. After the angry man walked away, a woman approached the worker and asked, “How do you put up with such           foolishness?” The young man said, “It’s easy. That guy’s going to New York, but I’m sending his bags to Brazil.”

I’ve often seen angry people in airports. The anger seems foolish to me. People who yell at TSA agents almost always miss their flights. And I wonder what angry people think the gate agent can do about the delayed flight? I once saw a woman yell at a pilot about the weather. Now I see videos documenting fist fights in planes. Which combatant thinks the fight will end well?

Refrain from anger and forsake wrath. Do not fret—it leads only to evil.  Psalm 37:8

Jesus got angry. The filching of the poor, the denial of care due to pietistic platitudes, and the sale of indulgences all enraged Jesus. Anger can be a holy tool. People of faith are justifiably angry about injustice and use that anger to spur action.

Missing a flight is not an injustice. Wearing a mask to protect the health of others is not an injustice, but a service to the neighbor. Learning to live among people with whom we disagree is a kindness that builds a gracious community. 

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  Colossians 3:15