I could feel the ire rising in my stomach as the yelling voices got louder and the squealing of the younger one became more insistent. The boys, at it again. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the piercing scream that arose from anger gone too far; someone was hurt. It had been a long day with many minor irritations. This was not the first fight of the day. The storm inside me could not be quelled any longer and in my rage, I raced up the stairs to their room, heart pounding and eyes flashing.
The harshness that erupted from my own anger spewed like lava all over the bedroom and the boys were stunned into silence.
I could see from their body language that it was too much, this rage. And then I became aware of a sharp tugging on my pant leg. I looked down in the middle of my rant, to find my gentle cat, Summer, with my pant leg in her teeth, pulling at it. I was so surprised by her action that I momentarily stopped … and in that instant recognized that my reaction was over-the-top. She was telling me that. What else would she be saying?
This was so out of character for her that I wondered if God was using my cat to speak to me. Really? Could that really be God’s voice? Well, I thought, I guess it’s not the first time that God used an animal to speak to a human, thinking of Balaam and his donkey.
Whether God’s voice or not, my cat was able to get through to me in an instant when I needed to be reminded of how not to behave. We all get angry. The deal is, as Ps.4:4 puts it, “In your anger, do not sin…”. Or, as the Message puts Ecclesiastes 7:9 “Don’t be quick to fly off the handle. Anger boomerangs. You can spot a fool by the lumps on his head”
Thanks for the reminder, Summer cat. I hope that I can avoid more lumps on my head with, or without, your help.
If you are parent who struggles with anger, may I suggest this excellent resource: Good and Angry by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller