When Small-Hearted Meets Magnanimous

When Small-Hearted Meets Magnanimous

Small talk isn’t really my thing.

In fact, I  have respect for people who have the gift of being able to chat about different things casually.  Some of the students I know better are easier to talk to, but I have to force myself to generate conversation with others.

The other day, I asked a student how his snow day was the previous day.  His lack of response prompted me to say semi-teasingly, “Come on!”  To which he responded with an annoyed, “No.”

Suddenly, frustration and anger filled me.  Here I was, making an effort and he couldn’t even give the common courtesy of responding to a non-invasive question.  I wasn’t asking him to share the depths of his soul, just to have him share about something from the previous day.

While small talk doesn’t come easily, quick retorts generally do.  So I struggled to keep back all of the sharp responses I wanted to give and I forced myself to continue to acknowledge him during the rest of class, even though I childishly wanted to ignore him.  I had the desire to demonstrate to him just how rude he was being…by being equally rude myself.  You have a question?  Too bad, I don’t want to answer you, just like you didn’t want to answer me.

I didn’t do those things, yet I am continually surprised how deeply small-heartedness is ingrained in me.  God is justice and mercy, but I naturally favor justice.  Old Testament eye-for-an-eye justice.  It isn’t what I want to receive, but it is definitely what I want to mete out. Continue reading “When Small-Hearted Meets Magnanimous”

Graced

Graced

Anger is like a dead weight.

The fool thinks that anger will invade only one area of his life.  He thinks that anger can be compartmentalized from the rest of one’s feelings and actions.  That fool thinks that the heart can be subdivided, anger for some and happiness for the rest.  He is wrong.  

Or she.  

Or me.

After days of being angry, I decided to not be.  I will not, of course, downplay the workings of grace.  Grace was imperative for me to see what I was choosing to do to my own heart.  In the beautiful mystery that is God, the Holy Spirit prepared my heart to receive the graces needed to take a step away from the anger and frustration. Continue reading “Graced”