Arresting anger

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

Being on the receiving end of someone else's thoughtless angry acts is neither pleasurable nor fair. Yet various worldwide events in recent months, including kidnappings, murders, illegal forest fires, and acts of terrorism lead us to believe that people are often helpless victims. However, a small but impressive incident showed me that leaning on God's law can turn an angry, out-of-control situation into a blessing for all.

One evening, we were wakened by the sound of a loud crash. Venturing outside, my husband and I discovered that someone had crashed their vehicle into our car and then left the scene.

Too upset to sleep, I tried to pray. But I was assailed with disturbing questions as to who the driver was and what prompted the incident. I felt vulnerable and very unsettled.

As I tried to calm myself, I remembered a story someone had told me about a car that had been stolen and was later returned by the perpetrator, cleaned up and full of gas.

The owner had seen very clearly that God, Truth, can pursue, overtake, and arrest evil – any wrongful thought and deed – in its tracks. I had been wishing a policeman could pursue this individual to make the arrest, but that night I saw I needed to place my trust in something higher. I thought about what it meant that Truth could do the "arresting."

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, wrote a book that explains God's laws, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." In this book, Truth is given as a descriptive name for God. She stresses in her teachings that God is omnipresent. This means that no man, woman, or child can possibly exist outside the encircling arms of this wonderfully caring but highly principled God. This is not only comforting; it is law.

Thinking about this, I began to see that God was already with the driver, and no matter how fast or far he drove, even if to the ends of the earth, he could not possibly drive beyond the reach of Truth. Furthermore, honesty was the very nature of this individual's being.

Suddenly, there was a knock at our door. It was midnight, and we hesitated to open it. But I had a feeling it would be all right.

There stood a distraught but humbled-looking young man. He explained that he had been drinking, had gotten into an argument with his girlfriend next door, had driven off in anger, and had smacked his truck into our car. He confessed that for some reason he just could not continue driving home. He apologized profusely and handed us cash for the needed repairs.

I was so impressed with God's ability to "arrest" this man, cause him to turn around, and, in spite of the heavy drinking, direct him in a path of complete integrity. Had he gotten away with the anger and its unfortunate results, his guilt might have prevented him from ever returning to the neighborhood to see his girlfriend. As it was, we happily greeted and spoke with him many times after the incident.

We cannot dictate how our prayers should be answered or speculate on how God's law will work. But no perpetrator, intentional or otherwise, is beyond God's loving ability to reach. Leaning on the Almighty God, knowing and trusting that He cares for each of us – upset individuals included – can bring about unforeseen solutions. Truth is anywhere that bad situations are going on and can arrest angry thoughts and their harmful influence and replace them with a feeling of one's true Godlike nature.

I was thankful and relieved to see that nothing need get beyond a loving God that cares for and is watching over every one of His children, protecting potential victims and correcting victimizers in the all-inclusiveness of His infinite law.

A soft answer

turneth away wrath.

Proverbs 15:1

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