Holy Anger and the way of the cross

n-CINDY-GLADUE-large570If Holy anger is a thing, and I think it is, then that's what I am. I am angry. I'm not alone either. I was marching in a protest today a thousand people strong. There were drums and war cry's and I was glad. The yelling expressed my sentiment exactly. My son said it hurt his ears, and I said it hurt my heart. We both embraced the pain and walked on. Cindy is dead. She was killed by her 'boyfriend', abused and broken and left to bleed it out in a hotel bathroom. Her pelvis (produced at the trial) had an 11 centimetre wound. He said she liked 'it rough'. He was acquitted.

So we pound our drums, shuffle our feet and cry our lungs out. We are angry. It's a collective cry from a people who are tired of crying. See Cindy is one person - who matters. But she is not alone. It's a cry that's been going for a long time in Canada. Over 1000 indigenous Canadian women are currently missing and/or murdered and no one seems to care. Murdered, abandoned, tortured, and left for dead. There are over a thousand of them.

A few months ago I was flying over Canada and read the cover story accompanied by a beautiful picture of 16 year old Rinelle. She got lost from her friends in downtown Winnipeg and was sexually assaulted by two men, beaten and thrown into the frozen river. Instead of dying as expected, she somehow managed to pull her broken body out of the river and collapse on the shore that freezing winter night. Some people found her. She survived. When she woke up she asked for prayer. And God gave her the strength to release her photo and name to the press. She told them to make sure they put it in the paper because all the women who are systemically abused and discarded actually have names and faces too. That made me angry and sad. Apparently those emotions are connected. Sadness is anger inwards. Anger is sadness outward. I'm gonna call it Holy anger because I think God is sad and angry to.

So, it's Good Friday tomorrow. What better day to bring our anger and sadness to God. He knows a bit about injustice and pain. He knows the way of the cross. He walked to the beat of a drum and the wailing of some women who loved him too. Instead of a picture of Cindy we will walk behind a big wooden cross. It is of course the same thing. A symbol of suffering and shame.

Today I'm gonna cling to the old rugged cross because I need somewhere to put my sadness and anger. I need someone who might take it and use it. I need Jesus to remind me that it no longer has the final word. I need to review the story.

My sons are going to help me - they've made a book about the whole thing. Judah told me I'll be really surprised at the ending. And because no little kid can keep a good secret very long he leaned down and whispered in my ear, 'He actually lives mom!' with a big smile on his face. And I remembered. And my anger and sadness was invaded by love. A love so deep and divine and true that it can meet death and fear and shame and sorrow and stop it dead in it's tracks. It's the way of the cross. I'm gonna walk it, with my sons tomorrow.