Since asking God for my heart back, and praying for my enemy - which, in turn, worked to increase the measure of love my heart can hold - I've come to see how great the mess is I left behind in my temper.
Even though I may not have hit out in anger, anger still left its mark - be it through sarcasm or other forms of 'wit'. I can see where I mocked, and the damage mocking caused. I see the spiritual and emotional bruising. I see scars I left behind.
Actually, the image I get is of a mountain - let's call it The Rock. In my frustrations - be them validated or not - I struck out and hit that rock, using my "sharp wit" to hack out chunks of it. In anger, I worked to cause damage and wanted to see the results of it! I made wounds and left scars... and I was very passionate about it at the time. And, as far as I was concerned, I was justified... Ah, but now that healing has come,"justification" is so not important. Rather, I regret the damage I've caused... and I stand before The Rock now, aware of what I have done.
The mountain - or The Rock, in the above image I've been given is Jesus. I know that in my heart. I know that is what God is telling me... I aimed my anger at 'whoever' and, in His mercy and love, Jesus instantly stepped in to take their place... I know now that where I hit out in my anger - the anger and frustrations and hatred I've held for others - I've aimed it at them, but it hit Him, instead. They may have felt it, or not, but, either way, He wears the marks of my sin.
You see, Jesus doesn't just work to help and save and free us; He works to help and save and free others, too - even if it means taking the hits we throw at them.
We may mark the flesh of another, we may hit them in the heart, but, I reckon, come Judgement Day, if we haven't repented of what we have done in our anger and frustrations, God will look upon those we struck out at, see His Son in their place, and ask us why we hit Him. He will ask why we failed to forgive while we expected God to forgive us of all our sins and wrong doings. (Please don't give up reading here... :) )
Anyway... when I look at that rock now, with all the pieces of 'earth' I cut out of it while striking it, that now lay in pieces at the foot of The Rock, I see the wounds Jesus gladly takes for us and our enemy - whom He loves.
Seeing this humbles me. Not just because I wounded His heart and name in my anger, but because I see He doesn't pick up those chipped stones and throw them back at me. Rather, with His fresh wounds - which He took for loved one and enemy - He offers forgiveness. Complete forgiveness - no grudges held.
Can't you see it? Can't you see Jesus stepping down off the cross, bloodied, beaten and torn because of our sins, and, through the vast amount of love He truly does possess, He holds out His scarred and bloodied hand to us and offers peace... even though we are the cause of His wounds... This breaks my heart. But this is His response.
As far as I can see, when we fight our [human] enemy - those that are in the flesh, be them Christians or not - we fight Jesus. We wound Him. We scar Him. He stands before our [human] enemy as He stand before us: Loving and protecting, and forever ready to forgive.
In this place of understanding, I also see the love He has for those I held anger towards. Instantly I feel grief over the pain I have, or may have, caused them. I see the consequences of "sinning in anger." I see the damage I've caused - through my pride... and I hold deep regret.
But my lesson doesn't end there: In my regret, as I pray and wish and yearn for all the damage Cyclone Donna caused to be erased from history and memory, and that God would work to make right all that I made wrong, I am given a greater depth of conviction... I am humbled by a greater awareness of my sin, by His love for others, and His love for me... and then I see, as I move to cloak myself in guilt, that guilt is not what Jesus offers. Conviction, yes, but not guilt.
Rather, Jesus lowers Himself to my level, as it were, gently takes my hand, raises me up to His level, and offers to remove all guilt from me, and then reassures me that conviction is not a bad thing. Conviction is not to quash someone's spirit. Conviction is not to pour out condemnation on someone and force them to wear it. Conviction is to show one the error of their way so they don't go that way again, so the world will be a better place for them and all who come across their path - or temperament... Conviction is an act of love. Conviction humbles, setting a loving soul free of ego. It does not crush, but works to raise up a heart to me more like God's. It is quite invigorating when embraced.
I am so sorry for the damage I have caused in all the days I've played with anger. God knows I'm still rushing to offer Him my heart when anger strikes so I don't strike out in response to it and cause more damage to Him, His heart, His name, or to that of others. I am sorry for the wounds I've caused, and I so want to make all things right again, so I welcome conviction, and, with it bringing me to my knees in further repentance, I trust that God will work to improve this heart and ego of mine, that He will not leave me to suffer guilt but will raise me up so I may love more truly and tenderly, and be free of the chains of ego that seems to be very stubborn when it comes to letting me go in this area.
And to you, whom I have wounded in one way or another, I am so sorry. You deserve better... Jesus loves you with a passion. God loves you with a passion. He does not will for you to suffer. My negative, harsh reactions are not a reflection of God's heart but of mine. God does not will for His children to cause you pain or condemnation in any way. He will work to defend you, protect you, free you and heal you, if you let Him... and I am so sorry for the part I played in stopping His love from reaching you as He so desires it to. Please forgive me.
With love, regret and humility,