Why are you doing this? , the frightened victim asked the furious gunman.

The gunman replied: I’m doing this because I am angry. (NBC News, 7/31/2019)

I really do empathize strongly with those who feel that the world continues to cheat them. With tempers like time-bombs and a gun ushering them an illusionary control that seems homely. These jilted people are convinced, justified in murdering the hopes and dreams of the innocent. Mild-tempered decisions and measured choice points mean nothing anymore.

Anger is an emotion that becomes cyclical through generations if left to exist without an unpacking. It takes no time for physical anger to manifest into spiritual anger. The smallest bit of envy can become malice. The tiniest bit of disdain can become rejection.  Many American people treasure their right to kill someone. It is more than just the right to “bear arms”.  

They tell a disabled man like me that having a gun permit and gun access is protection. But I do not really treat gun ownership with the protection blanket that these others trumpet. If it is truly protection, why do some of the angriest, fearful people have guns?

 I want to tell them: If you’re so well-protected, why does someone like me make you so uncomfortable? I think that although not all people use guns to kill innocent people, many people believe that having a gun is some guarantee that they aren’t going to die at the hands of someone stupid.

 I read somewhere that “perfect love has no fear”. It is very possible to publicly declare your love black and brown people and simultaneously mask your fear of them. I also read in that same “somewhere” that faith cometh by hearing… and it does. (I John 4:18a; Romans 10:17a, King James Version)

So if you hear over and over that all African-American people, and all democrats and progressives wish to destroy your “culture” and “way of life”, this is a faith-hearing.  And you will believe it is true even if the facts dictate that it’s a lie. It is possible to have a warped understanding of something based on your cone of influence, to shape your ideals on the word of a single group of people. And it does not matter whether those people are ignorant or well. We all are capable of developing a well of spiritual anger against people whether we are fed lies or truth.  

And many people have a distorted faith that black and brown people are intending to take over the entire country. That fear makes them grab a gun and believe that killing innocents will solve the anger that lodges deep in their spirit. They think: one less person to disrupt my peaceful country. “

 I have never been angry enough to kill. My mother is the sole person responsible for that attitude. She helped realize years ago that I was more than a man with empty knowledge. There is a searing pain that grips me as I share these words. But I must be brave and seek truth.

 Anger of the spirit is a sickness that allows a person with much opportunity— a car with gas, a mother’s love, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, un-fettered support— to feed a searing pain that no physical thing can fix. For some people an anger of the spirit is being ridiculously smart and capable yet never experiencing what “real love is”.

Anger of the spirit is also having doting parents and yet being fearful about admitting that perhaps the people in our relationships are placeholders for the people we truly desire in our lives. Anger of the spirit is attending a church to live the dream of another person, while instinctively realizing in your head that your dream worship place is somewhere much different, much less ritualistic.  Anger of the spirit is that resentment you feel when you are sure you denied yourself inner peace to make someone else feel important.

PAIN LIKE THIS is enough to pick up a gun and kill a person. Lately, I have been listening to Mandisa’s “Bleed the Same” because when it comes to people…all blood is red.

There is a sickness gripping America that became more prominent after Donald Trump became president. In my heart, I have always known it was there. The United States is confronting many angry demons and terms like “conservative” are becoming tepid terms that fail to express the wounded spirit of our people. I am motivated to go back to the beginning of Romans 10.

Paul wrote about people that are angry in their hearts in Romans 10. He said: They are eager about God, but they do not really know him. They want to establish their own idea of righteousness. (Romans 10.2, Romans 10.3, King James Version)

It is like they need for other people to feel the wrath that has been silent in their hearts all this time. And SAUL of TARSUS, knew how to inflict wrath on people. He did it well before he became a Christian.

From my own perspective, that is where we are. No matter your color or status in our beloved United States, we have reached a level of arrogance wherein we all want to be right, and for some the arrogance has been uncovered through a President that can be found out at the frequency he attacks people who do not agree with him wholeheartedly.

I have enough respect to acknowledge he is the President of our nation, while also being moderately concerned about the example he sets. To use a phrase my grandmother says: He gives a good bucket of milk (for some people) and in the same breath kicks it over. I believe he is spiritually angry. If our U.S. President were truly a happy man he would not delight in smearing and attacking so many people.

Spiritual anger has nothing to do with a mental disorder. In fact, a recent PBS report confirms that psychological profiles cannot forecast a mass shooting. (https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/why-mental-illness-cant-predict-mass-shootings)

So what is my conclusion? I confess that I am a person that once believed that having Cerebral Palsy protected me from impulsive, unstable people. But I should remember that I literally had to learn how to thrive in an environment that was full of impulsive attitudes and actions.  People tell me that I am brave. But I do not think they truly understand that my bravery was part survival and part the grace of God. Life has always been difficult for me regardless of my opportunities. I’m lucky to have Cerebral Palsy and be college-educated. I’m lucky to read, drive, hold conversation, and be a brilliant speaker. 

The bottom line is: In my experience, anger of the spirit has cut my profits. I have never profited from competing, from the idea that I had to assert dominion over others. I have always had a spiritual price to pay for my own impulses. I do not miss being young and dumb. I do not miss sticking to people like a piece of saltwater taffy.

So if I can teach anyone anything… it’s that spiritual anger should provoke inner questions, questions that demand and require a person to step down and humbly search. My father is a corrections officer and his guns never made me feel “secure”.

It hurts to say that there was a time when I believed a gun protected me. But I’ve experienced more tumultuous pain from the presence of a gun, than I have from its absence. And while I understand that responsible gun ownership has its place. A gun owner does not have the power to “be right” in all circumstances.  

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