We should have seen it coming. Her fingers were wrapped tightly around her glass. The tension in each was increasingly visible. I could see a slow redness creeping up her neck. Tension was oozing through her voice. Her body posture was on high alert. Something had to give.
In time it did. I thought the peak had passed but it seems that I along with others were not reading her accurately. As I began to relax, the onslaught began.
A loud slap kicked it off as glass slammed on a wooden tabletop. Every visible piece of skin was bright red. You could see pulse beat through the vein in her neck.
“W*!& the $^#$ are you doing?” While her glare was directed at one face, nobody was under the illusion that s/he was not part of the intended audience. Paraphrasing the words that followed (in the interest of putting words on paper), “Every word they speak is a land mine; their lungs breathe out poison gas. Their throats are gaping graves, their tongues slick as mudslides.” (Psalm 5.9)
We sat stunned. I knew her accusations were on the mark. I had no doubt that I had not stood up for what I knew was true. I had let things slide even as I told myself that it was not my battle. I was not engaged. I had stood by and watched silently. Even in the following conversations, I was quiet.
I admired her courage to confront. We could have done more. I wanted to suggest that she was not handling it the right way as I remembered a man after God’s own heart (God’s label, not mine). He vented – at those around him and God – at will. His words were blunt and to the point. She was living his model and actions.
In today’s soft rain and slow breezes, it is hard to imagine being this angry. In the aftermath of her explosion, we talked as we had never talked before. We embraced what was true and we committed to be more than we had been.