Today’s post is another in the ongoing series on anger, and comes to us from Larry Carter. Larry is a husband, dad, Christ follower from Tennessee. Larry’s blog is Deuceology–Deuce being his nickname (his dad, Larry is “Ace”), and “ology” representing “theology.” Thus over there you can read Larry’s take on life, faith, and a few other things. You can also follow him on Twitter @LarrytheDeuce.
He shook my hand, asking if I would still come to the meeting the next night? I watched him walk off my deck to his truck in stunned silence. I was slackjawed, and in a state of shock rarely experienced in my life.
I walked into the house. Jan asked me what was wrong. I think she could tell from the look on my face that something happened, something which had not had a positive effect on me. I looked at her and kind of laughed. Then I told her what happened.
I had been fired.
No, not from my job. Nothing like that. No, I had been fired from teaching Sunday School. Suddenly the weight of poor decisions and casual conversations came home to roost.
I was angry. Angrier, perhaps, than I had ever been in my life. Not the kind of anger that exploded and then subsides as quickly as it erupted. This anger was trickier than that. This one started out the size of a kernel and grew into a monstrous thing that would engulf me for months to come.
Why was I angry?
I had done it, in part, to myself.
Everyone had pretended there was no problem until it came time to kick me to the curb.
No one sat down to talk to me about it.
No attempt at anything approaching Biblical discipline was even made.
Nada. Nothing. I was just fired without any warning.
The fellow that fired me expected me to show up to a meeting the next day that our Sunday School was having about another, potentially more damaging issue.
You fired me.
Good luck, sir.
Like a “Shark,” I’m out.
So began our journey of finding another church. We left a church that my wife grew up in. One our children were growing up in. The church where we married. A church that we served in for the majority of seventeen years.
Then, of course, I saw him everywhere. The next morning on my way to work. Every morning on my way to work. And he would wave at me like nothing happened.
And my blood boiled.
Then I would hear more and more about it. How everyone on the committee had been in favor of firing me–the same people who would act like nothing happened when they saw me out in public.
How was I really supposed to feel?
The longer it went on, the angrier I got. And word got back to me that my anger was having it’s desired effect.
It was bothering the guy who fired me. He wondered why I wouldn’t speak to him. He wondered why I was mad at him.
The only problem was that it was really hurting me more than it was hurting him.
It affected my relationship with the Lord. I had a hard time reading the Bible, or praying. We landed in a church and, while it wasn’t the only factor, it was one that colored my view of that church. I can see and say that now.
Then the Lord, by His grace, decided to bring me out of the desert. He brought me into a new fellowship. (Well, not exactly new, but that’s another story).
Am I completely over it? I probably won’t be going over to visit any of those folks for a while. Have I forgiven him? Maybe I’m finally getting to the first state of being able to do that.
The scab has healed. There is a huge scar left behind. This scar reminds me often of the day I was fired and became angry for far too long.