Loosening anger’s grip

Listen when I talk...I opened the email and immediately felt my temperature rise.  Someone had stirred up a situation I thought had been settled.

“Oh, that makes me angry!” I uttered out loud.  (To confess, my language was a little stronger than that.)

My irritation boiled the remainder of the day.  I craved the instant gratification of calling the person and unloading my feelings.  Equally as powerful, I fought the urge to run to a third-party to vent my frustration.

The voice of wisdom and experience whispered inside my head, “don’t do eitheryou’ll regret it later.”

Still battling these temptations, I went to bed smoldering, bypassing the counsel of Ephesians 4:26, which advises, “do not let the sun go down on your anger . . .” (NRSV) Continue reading “Loosening anger’s grip”

Faced with a Life or Death Decision

A flood of fresh tears flowed as I thumbed through the twenty-eight page  document.  The Medicare “Summary Notice” coldly spelled out the amounts paid to the mile-long list of medical providers.   I couldn’t help but re-live the experience of dad’s final days as I moved chronologically through the papers.  The final ER visit.  Multiple blood draws.  An electrocardiogram.  Numerous ex-rays and a CT scan.  The chest tap and chest tube. The ambulance ride back to the nursing home.  The physician’s final visits.

Perhaps what stood out most was the ER doctor’s description: “Emergency department visit, problem with significant threat to life or function.”

ER signDad was, indeed, gravely ill when he landed in the emergency room in mid-November.  His white blood-cell count was sky-high, indicating something was seriously wrong.  When I arrived at his bedside, I couldn’t help but look at his frail body and think that we might not be there had it not been for a snap decision made by a physician a month earlier. Continue reading “Faced with a Life or Death Decision”

Seeing Red

I originally wrote this material for inclusion in a women’s devotional book on Proverbs. It describes a situation that occurred when I was completing a college internship as a summer park ranger in Southern Oregon.

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“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Proverbs 15:1, NASB

thX2EURAI7“You’re a communist!” the agitated man shouted. The circle of people tightened around me. I flipped my army-green notepad shut, concealing the license plate numbers I had just recorded.

The leader of the group motioned angrily at my notepad. “Did you put my number in there?”

“Yes, I did,” I answered gently. “You and your friends are camping in an unauthorized site this evening.”

He swore in response. “Ah-h, the next thing you know, these park rangers are going to tell us when we can brush our teeth!” Continue reading “Seeing Red”