Just days after writing my two ‘angry’ blogs (SIDS, restorative justice and big tobacco: why I’m feeling angry; and George Osborne’s budget: more reasons to be angry), Europe was racked by another terrorist attack, this time in Brussels. Violence continues to shake our streets. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, innocent women, children and men continue to flee from their homes in terror, and risk their lives in desperate bids for freedom. And, closer to home, it seems to me, as I walk through the streets of Coventry, that the number of homeless young men is once again increasing.
The inequalities, the injustice, the violence, hatred and greed seem to continue unabated.
And yet, in this same week, we saw David Cameron’s government do a U-turn on cutting disability benefits; a WHO report highlighted that the proportion of British 15 year olds who reported having their first cigarette at age 13 fell from 24% to 17% from 2009-2010 to 2013-2014; and the House of Lords voted to amend the immigration bill in order to require the government to allow 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees into our country.
In spite of the darkness, there is always reason to hope.
Yesterday, I sat in silence and tears for our Good Friday service; angry still at the injustice of our world.
Like many other good men and women, Jesus was assassinated because he dared to confront the unjust powers of his day. He walked the road of non-violent confrontation, and it cost him his life. Others, too have been imprisoned, tortured, and killed for speaking out for justice and peace: one only has to think of people such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Oscar Romero, or Aung San Suu Kyi.
When I wake tomorrow, 2,000 years after Jesus gave his life, the injustice will still be there. So, too, will the terror, hatred, greed, violence, and the untold suffering of millions around our world.
So I will still be angry.
But I will also carry with me a ray of hope.
If (and I accept that for many this is a huge ‘if’) Jesus truly did rise from the dead as the gospels tell us, then there really is hope. The resurrection of Jesus boldly proclaims that violence, suffering, injustice and greed do not have the last word. That ultimately death itself is defeated and has no power.
So I will hold onto my anger, believing that this world should be different. And I will hold onto hope, believing that this world will one day be different. And I will celebrate the gift of love that is stronger than death.