God has given Bill and I a really big issue to deal with this Lent.
We had a LOT of money stolen from us. By a friend.
I won't go into details, but it's a high enough amount that our ability to pay our bills has been affected. It really stinks.
The issue is not what to do. I guess there might be some debate about what legal action to take. I've been arguing that legal action will only waste more of our money. A judge will rule in our favor, but it's not like there's money in the bank, you know? It's not like the person has a brand-new BMW that we could put a lien on.
The real issue is how to deal with the anger.
Bill wrote an email which vented his anger. It said all the nasty things and called all the nasty names that he could think of. He didn't send it, of course. (My outgoing email problem has not been resolved - still...talk about needing a class on anger management!!!...but it's good, because he just might have, oops, sent it). He actually had to get up and walk away from the email, though, because he recognized it for what it was - just plain nastiness.
I think he felt better though getting his feelings expressed, even if it was just to me and to God. He told me, "I feel like I got punched in the jaw." I said, "You got slapped on the cheek." But we agree, turning and offering the other cheek - which to me means getting over the anger - is so very hard.
We want satisfaction, retribution, justice. Most of our anger stems from not being able to attain that. Forgiveness is so much easier when wrongs can be righted. Repay the debt, and you'll be forgiven. Pay for the damage, return the stolen property, say I'm sorry...and then we can be friends again.
But here I have to forgive someone who can't fix it. And that, more than any rosaries or fasts or tithes, is Lent, practically applied.