This fall, I began my fourth of six semesters at The Seattle School and simultaneously found that many expectations of where I’d be at this point in my life were fully falling apart. A year ago, I’d left behind a community of warmth, color, sunshine, and acceptance for a place that often felt ambivalent towards a brown (stranger) surrounded by mostly white (people) and gray (skies). Grief was making its way through my family in waves at the passing of a beloved aunt. Anger and sorrow swelled and subsided in surprising ebbs and flows for our loss of her and the transitioning of a relationship.
My body, too, was tired. Making time to do homework and write essays was beginning to feel weighty after a year of being in school full time. Working part time felt costly…as though more energy was being exerted than was being paid back. And then, upon delving into the work of the Integrative Project, the enemy began to sow seeds of discord in relationships. Yet another level of challenge and testing, in a time where energy was a valuable resource.
I remember the stress relief of the gym, and swiping my badge to swim countless laps, shaking the weight off. I worship in the multicultural church I have called home in Seattle. I make time to laugh over meals with friends, and play with their kids on the floor.
Amidst this season, there is a pull. An invitation, perhaps, to a space with God which I will call “Holy Anger.” Where I send passionate inquiries towards the skies.
“Why didn’t you heal her?”
“Is breakthrough ever going to come? For black people; for the marginalized; for me?”
“When will glimmers of the promised land become things that are not simply hoped for, but things that are seen?”
I am learning to lament in ways that are not trite. There are no shiny, neatly tied bows in this space. There is anger. There is honesty. And truthfulness, as I turn toward God.
Truth, even the ugly parts of it, are being exposed. Lies are being brought into the light.
It was the kindness of Jesus which led me to repentance, the Holy Spirit that met me in waves of fire and prophecy. Now, I find myself here. Just when I think the Holy Spirit has lost his mind, I am led by Ruach to the throne room of God the Father. At which point, the door is shut and locked.
“I don’t want to be here,” I find myself crying out, but to which situation I am referring — this season of wilderness, the darkness of this city, the throne room of God — I’m not sure yet.
Suddenly there I am, faced with the melodrama — the very real existence — of Holy Anger. I turn towards Yahweh, this most bewildering of persons, finally deciding to meet this One face to face.
Locked in the throne room, there I stand. Furious. Honest. Incensed. Thoroughly annoyed.
I am still here. Am I here because the Holy Spirit locked me in? Or am I just staying? I don’t quite trust this Father God yet. But I’m relying on the relationships I’ve built with the other two that led me here. I’m trusting that they’ll uphold me in the stilted places, as I confront the gaps in the relationship with this One.
“You,” I say. The questions are numerous.
He has yet to give the answers I demand.
A little girl steps into the throne room with her anger, and presents it to Father God.