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NT Wright, again, has stirred my thinking. Writing in his Everyone series about the gospel of John, chapter 11, he nudges us to think a little more deeply about what the tears of Jesus might mean. If you remember the story, a good friend had just died (Lazarus), and now Jesus has just encountered the second of Lazarus’ two grieving sisters.

Mad at the world? Mad at God? Things not working?

 

Check your assumptions.

 

There are lots of things to be mad about, and sometimes the reasons are pretty clear: somebody hurt you, you made a huge mistake, something you really wanted doesn’t happen: the cause and effect are easy to see.

 

But sometimes we get upset and don’t really know why.

While I do not agree that there is never a time to “pull the trigger” in order to protect or defend the people we love or are responsible for, I love the heart of Dr. Who’s commitment to never act in anger or revenge. You can argue whether or not the BBC is trying to portray (or should portray) this TV character as a true pacifist, but at least in the episode “The Doctor’s Daughter,” he clearly models and argues for building a society on forgiveness and peace, not on revenge and anger.

The solution to disappointment, especially when it is disappointment in the spheres we care most about, is to keep going, keep loving, keep believing, keep forgiving, keep trying. All the great stories tell us to keep hoping: in the end, righteousness, truth and justice will prevail.

Where do problems come from? They come from that little part of human beings that says, “Dammit. No. That’s mine and I’m not sharing.” This attitude can be accurately called “sin,” “hate,” “current reality” or “just the way things are.”