Anger…it’s not an emotion I generally feel.
But lately, while battling cancer, I’ve had moments of anger…indeed, moments of outrage.
Fatigue has plagued me. My bones hurt, my muscles ache, my brain feels like a pincushion. Life before cancer treatments included fulltime work, daily Mass, and volunteering. So far, I’m unable to resume any of that.
These days I’m hanging close to home, requiring hours of rest to battle the relentless agonies.
Typically, I find peace by surrendering my will to God’s. However, one recent day, that didn’t happen. Forget God’s will. I wanted what I wanted.
Anger gained a foothold as I flung bullets of frustration at my dear husband, Joe.
I wanted control. I wanted to drive. I wanted good health. I wanted to do something useful.
Finally, trying to be helpful, Joe suggested I handle some banking for us.
I grabbed the paperwork, the car keys and headed out.
Wrapped in frustration, I exited the neighborhood, glanced at the clock and realized I could make it to the noontime Mass at a neighboring church. It was, however, in the opposite direction of the bank.
I paused, but, still outraged, I kept heading to the bank.
As I drove, something nagged me to turn around and go to Mass. I resisted, but something, or was it Someone, persisted.
Finally, at the next traffic light, I made a U-turn.
Once inside the church, I chose a remote seat in the back pew. I didn’t want to see anyone I knew. I wasn’t in the mood to talk or visit.
Anger possessed me. I felt like a kid throwing a temper tantrum. It felt like I was frowning…like my arms were crossed…my back turned.
I was so mad. I was so mad at God.
It wasn’t the holiest stance before almighty God.
But I was there. I was there.
I remember little of the Mass, but after it ended, I lingered. Not because I felt pious. Not because the prayer melted my stubborn will.
I don’t know why I stayed. I still felt angry. I just stayed.
When I finally left the church, I noticed it was a beautiful sunny day. Not ready to go home yet, I decided to drive to the nearest Subway for lunch. I love their BMT sub.
I still felt cranky. I still wanted to be alone.
God knows I love a good deal, and as I approached the sandwich shop there was a colorful poster advertising an extremely low price for the sub of the day. The banner listed each day of the week and the partnering sub on sale that day.
My heart leapt as I scanned the list. Monday was tuna…ugh…don’t like that. Tuesday was honey ham….not my favorite…Today was Thursday….I shifted my gaze down the list…Thursday was…unbelievably…my favorite...the BMT.
The annoyed kid in me relaxed. A slight smile formed on my lips. I turned and looked upward.
In the very breath of my existence, despite my attitude, God reached out and touched me.
“Don’t worry,” He seemed to whisper. “I know you inside and out. I’ve got your back.”