Fathom Mag

Published on:
July 7, 2020
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2 min.
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Rage Against The

I want to write about picking sweet peas from my garden, how I grab just a few here and there, run them under icy water and eat them as a mid-morning snack. How they taste like sugar and earth. How the birds take a bath in the spray, everytime I water my garden. This morning I saw a cardinal, three finches, and a robin, flapping their wings in the droplets. But lately, when I open my mouth to speak, resentment tickles the back of my throat. Frustration runs like a low-grade fever.

When is it bravery and when is it pride, to speak up?
Rachel Joy Welcher

Is it just me, or are we angrier than ever? There are no impersonal issues. Everything feels like a matter of life and death, or a threat to the pursuit of happiness. Why can’t I feel neutral about anything? I long for the days where I could just roll my eyes, and keep scrolling. Delete the text, or nod politely during a conversation that made me uncomfortable. When is it bravery and when is it pride, to speak up? To speak out? To oppose, correct, and preach? I confess, I don’t know anymore. Lord, I don’t trust my own heart. 

After a week of heavy news, hard work, and things breaking, I suggested to Evan, “Let’s binge-watch The Hunger Games movies.” Maybe there are healthier ways to rest, but we were very, very tired. So we watched them, after church, from noon to night. I made us some snacks and we got comfy on the couch. What a strange story to watch, while our own world struggles to breathe - whether from a respirator in a hospital, or under the knee of a cop. Lord, I am weary. 

 In the last film of the series, after all the trauma, bloodshed, and betrayal, Katniss tells her daughter: 

“I have nightmares, too. Someday I’ll explain it to you. Why they came, why they won’t ever go away. But I’ll tell you how I survive it. I make a list in my head, of all the good things I’ve seen someone do, every little thing I can remember.”

And I know it’s a quote from a young adult series-turned-movie and it may be cheesy to find it inspiring, but it struck me. That maybe one way to quell the rage is to remember the good. We retweet the latest injustice, neglecting to notice how the cashier at Trader Joe’s added a free bouquet of flowers to my cart, when I told her I was headed to the hospital. We write angry blog posts and “open letters” and vent to our friends, forgetting to share that when we lost our baby, someone I’ve never met mailed me a ceramic bird bath. So I could watch the cardinals, and the finches, and the robins dance in the droplets. 

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Rachel Joy Welcher
Rachel Joy Welcher is an editor-at-large at Fathom Magazine. She earned her Master of Letters in Bible and the Contemporary World from The University of St. Andrews. She is the author of two collections of poetry: Two Funerals, Then Easter and Blue Tarp, and has written for The Gospel Coalition, Mere Orthodoxy, RELEVANT, and The Englewood Review of Books. Her book, Talking Back to Purity Culture: Rediscovering Faithful Christian Sexuality, is coming out from InterVarsity Press in 2020. Rachel lives in Glenwood, Iowa, with her husband, Evan, and their dog, Frank. You can follow her on Twitter @racheljwelcher.

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