When Love and Anger Coincide

“One of the things I’ve always struggled with about God is His anger. Why does it seem like He is so angry all the time? How can he be both loving and punishing? It never made sense to me, and was one of the major reasons why I struggled with Christianity for so long” commented Stephen, one of the summer interns during his final speech about what he learned over the summer with Casa Chirilagua. As he continued on, he shared that at the beginning of the summer he felt a special draw toward a specific kid, Carlos, and wanted to focus on Carlos for the summer. One day after Kids Club, during the walk home, Carlos decided to walk into the middle of the road and sit down, right as a car was driving down the lane.  He refused to move or get up as the car halted to a break, just inches before hitting Carlos.  Stephen, in a state of shock and frustration, walked up to Carlos and told him, “I don’t know what to say to you, so just go home and I’m going to tell Ms. D tomorrow. Sorry.”  After Carlos stood up and went home, Stephen finished walking the rest of the kids. The anger Stephen experienced put him in a bad mood for the rest of the week, being unable to fully grasp the situation and the feelings he was going through. Stephen was not only furious at Carlos for putting himself in such danger all because he was “playing”, but at himself as well because he failed to do his job of protecting the kids, especially Carlos. The following Monday, Stephen was debriefing about Carlos with one of the members of the intentional community, expressing that he was so angry with Carlos for choosing to put himself in danger like that.  The community member then responded, “That’s kind of how God feels about us.”  “Explain?” Stephen questioned. He continued on, “You love and care about Carlos so much that it made you angry that he made such a poor decision to endanger himself.  I imagine that God often feels the same about us when we make bad choices.”  Stephen commented at the end of his final speech, “I never thought about it like that before, but he’s right. If that’s why God gets angry, then I guess his anger comes from love and not from hate. That’s definitely a God I can follow.”