Anger, Pain & Grace

by: T.J. Mousetis

I think we can all say we’ve been wronged at some point or another. I think we could also say that we’ve been wronged by someone very close to us, whether it be a friend, family member, husband or wife. It’s usually the ones nearest to us who can dish out the greatest amounts of pain, and whether it’s your 1st or 100th trip down pain road, it never gets easier.

Pain hurts.

My wife, Brooke, and I have recently been dealt a blow from some close friends of ours that has caused us a great deal of pain. In a time of our lives when we are opening a second Walk in Love. store, celebrating two years at our first, getting ready for wedding season, about to move into a new office, and almost wearing shorts and t-shirts, there is this pain. In between all these joyous occasions, Brooke and I are dealing with this pain. That’s the thing about pain, it doesn’t come just at bad times or when it’s convenient (as if it’s ever convenient). It comes regardless of where you are in life. It comes whether you are rich, poor or somewhere in the middle. It comes whether you had crappy parents or awesome parents. It comes whether you’ve made all good choices or all bad choices. Pain is a part of our fallen world, regardless of who you are and what you do.

So, Brooke and I have a choice to make with our pain. We can grab a hold of it, put it on a flag and try to rally every one around us to take our side, join our cause for anger and attack! An option that I think we all take far too often. How many conversations about pain end up being conversations about revenge? It’s the easy way out. It’s easy to get upset about things. It’s easy to try and pull people on sides. It’s easy to just say, “F them,” and move on. After Brooke and I were originally dealt this blow, that was my first thought. I wanted to just say screw it, I'm done, the gloves are off or any other cheesy fight sayings.

And as I sat at my computer after a frustrating, painful conversation with my friend, it came. It came like a whisper or a small breeze. It came in the silence between heavy breaths, tears and clenched fists.

Grace.

Brooke and I have been wronged, but how many times have I been on the other side of that?  How many friends, family members and strangers have I wronged with actions, remarks and being an idiot? How many times have my thoughts and actions wronged the loving God I serve? How many times have I given the Creator of all things a reason for anger toward me? How many times for the rest of my life will His answer be grace instead of anger?

And with this overwhelming feeling of grace and love crashing over me and flashes of Jesus – the King of kings – bleeding, dying, suffering on a cross and me spitting in His wounds, I wept.

For the first time, I allowed myself to stop seeing through my tiny microscopic view and grasp the depth of grace, only to realize that my view and depth of grace is just a scratch on the surface.

It’s not easy having life changing moments because that means your life has to change. It means that actions must be taken. It means that the old way of doing things are no longer acceptable. It’s like when babies learn how to walk. In an instant, crawling will no longer do.

So I am stuck with a choice to make. I can continue to strive to allow grace to be my reaction instead of anger. I know that failure will be in my future, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t try. I know pain and I will know it again. I know anger and I will know it again, but I would rather know grace.