Walking and talking ...

I spoke at a church in Peoria Friday night. As I was preparing my thoughts, I decided to take a walk through Laura Bradley park. My house is about 4 blocks from the park, so I listened to the new Brandtson CD until I found myself in a large open field that seemed suitable for the task-at-hand.

I took my headphones out, expecting a peaceful silence. Instead, I heard a guy screaming at the top of his lungs: "You F&@#n B!@#h, I #$% hate you and your @#$% lies!!" He preceded to scream into the phone for 10 minutes or so ... I'm assuming targeted at his significant other ... and he often repeated himself.

Needless to say, it was pretty difficult to work on my talk in this environment ... but as he went on I felt my heart breaking. So much anger, so much pain, and so much hate screeching from the top of his lungs. He literally sounded insane.

My cousin has a post on her blog that says -- "Why is it that the people you love the most, always seem to disappoint you the most?" I don't exactly know what's going on in her life because I haven't seen her for a while ... but I wonder the same thing.

So how do you respond? How do you respond when the pain is so great and the words are so intentionally hurtful?

Disclaimer: These questions are only generic. I haven't been intentionally hurt in the past couple weeks. I think it's stupid when people send out "code messages" in their blog -- so trust me, there's no secret agenda here. I just need to know the answer to these questions.


Courtney C said...

This is a tough question! I think the only real way to respond to pain is with understanding. Jeremiah 15:15 says "You understand, O Lord; remember me and care for me" (NIV). If the Lord offers understanding in the midst of pain, what more can we expect to offer someone else! Anger is a natural human response to deep emotion, but it connot stop there. Living in anger only creates more hurt and resentment. I think the best thing we offer one another is empathy as a means of confronting the source of our anger. Only through tackling our anger and allowing God to heal us can it have a healthy place in our lives.

It is tough considering what to say in a situation where the anger and hurt run so deep like appears in your encounter. Perhaps a smile and a willing ear to listen is all you can offer. That's my opinion...take it for what it's worth ;-)

BTW, Beky Smith is one of my favorite people! Tell her hello from me next time you see her!

JGanschow said...

We have recently discussed this topic in our small group. Why is it that those we love the most end up disappointing us the most? The answer, I believe, is that it is those that we love the most that we expect the most out of. We expect them to love us unconditionally, support us, cheer us up, etc. We don't have these same expectations for strangers or distant (as opposed to close) friends. I think that we have to be careful about how quick we are to judge others on the way they treat us, as we may be disappointing them as a result.

Leslie Anne said...

I agree with Justin wholeheartedly.

Right now