Pastor Kate's Blog - Reflection of "See No Stranger" - Chapter Four

I wonder how we, how the church, can help create opportunities for people to explore their rage safely.

What does it take to explore rage? Is there something cathartic about sharing rage with each other?

Rage points to our understanding of the world. What we value. What we want. What we don’t want. To understand rage though I wonder if we have to have a conversation with it. Is it possible that we don’t even know what our own rage is about? I appreciate Kaur’s reminder to consider, what information does my rage carry?

How can we honor rage and not shut it down? Kaur mentions that people often use civility as an excuse to silence people. How do we guard against that instinct? How can we create a community that feels secure enough to make space for and listen to the rage of others? How can we help one another process the information we receive when we allow the rage to be expressed?

Kaur talks about evil coming from being wounded not being innate. I am surprised to find myself questioning this assertion. I don’t believe people are inherently evil, but I think I do believe we are capable of doing evil things without being wounded. I find myself thinking back to the story of Adam and Eve. I’m not sure there is evidence of them being wounded before they fail to take responsibility for their actions when questioned by God. I think this points to the complexity of our inner life and my belief that we have free will. If we truly have free will – we have to have the ability to choose good or ill.

I find Kaur’s idea of destroying projections of people who have hurt us to be useful and free. It helps me separate myself from the harm – it helps soften my heart towards those who have caused the harm. This does not dismiss or excuse the harm but transforms my inner relationship with the opponent.

I hold my stress in my chest and in my jaw and I notice when I consider how my opponent’s life experiences may have contributed to their actions, my chest and jaw open up and loosen a bit. I am able to feel sadness and wonder rather than fear and shame and anger. The passing of time helps make this transformation possible. Because I feel confident and secure in who I am, I am able to do this processing. I couldn’t have done it when I felt vulnerable and alone. How can we create spaces that contribute to people’s sense of confidence and security – that they are beloved children of God?

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