Homes can be sometimes a crowded space, a swamp of stubborn wills. Especially in the middle of long winters, nerves fraying slowly in the monotany of company.
Children, small, let out their anger in a cannonade of feelings and then spent, it dissipates. They speak the truth, if not in love, and then happily rejoin forces in their next activity or game. They don't seem to know how to hold a grudge.
How do we lose this ability as we grow? This quick forgiveness. Why does ire fester, gnaw? Why do I chew it, swallow it, throw it back up in a torrent of unkindness, harshness and intolerance? Producing words that are bile, illness settling in so I find myself asking forgiveness twenty times when once would be enough.
In the moments, I'm so justified, so righteous in my own eyes but after, chapped with unclean lips, I want the coal, hot, to scorch it out of me. (Isaiah 6)
I search for the primary emotion if anger is only secondary and I don't want to admit that it all has to come from hurt. Hurts, I thought so long ago, dealt with, buried. If they haunt, linger, how can I hope to be new?
And I've trained myself to bite my lips hard and often, seemingly victorious over the rot. So, then it comes as shock when I find in a mere instant that I'm not biting hard enough to keep it all in.
How to spill without sin? To break down the walls of protection so strong and high, made of bricks hardened by anger. Uncover wounds in self without wounding others?
It doesn't work to simply act out Proverbs 15:1 - "A gentle answer turns away wrath." I have to learn to be the gentle answer. I have to learn it in my being.