The Anger of God (lyric)

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What follows was inspired by a few things. One, words of Christian theologian Willie Jennings spoken soon after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor: Jennings’ observations on anger and God surprised me and further illuminated my own long struggle with a grieving outrage that sometimes feels debilitating. He also gave me permission to feel my anger as part of, rooted in, black anger, though the parameters of that are still being sorted by yours truly. I ain’t black and I know that.

Second has been my listening, over and over again, to Bifrost’s Lamentations album. In particular, the song “Rise Up” draws grief up through my body in waves. The tension between loving God – a God who seems sometimes absent in the too-visible leering face of oppressive evil – and loving my fellow human being tears at me.

. . .

Finally, there is the whole idea of an angry God. Why is he angry at us? Should we – c’mon, be honest here! – be angry at him instead? Or even worse, should we despair of his love for us, for the neighbor who is being crushed by those using God’s name to justify that crushing?

Temptation comes to dismiss God as useless, as childish fantasy, as wholly incompatible with reality as it clearly is.

But. I love Him. I see God in Christ’s body, Christ’s eyes, Christ’s words, Christ’s deeds, Christ’s death. I don’t always see the resurrection clearly, friends. But I hope for it. I dare hope for it. And that’s where the following lyric came from. Sorry it took me so long to get there.


The God of Anger

I did not know that Gods can weep
Until your gentle face dissolves in sorrow
Are you where poor sinners slowly creep
In their loss of hope that steals away tomorrow
Are you in a policeman’s arm, rising to fall
Are you in his victim’s cry of bewilderment
Are you in the orphan too weak to cry at all
Are you in this agony by increment?

I dare to seek the God of Anger
I dare to seek the God of Anger
Find me, fill me with your rage
Before I destroy myself in this lonely cage
I dare to see the God of Anger

I did not know my anger could hide in yours
Someone screams, I wake myself with screams
I did not know this love of you would open lion’s doors
Your angry sea surrounds your children’s island dreams

I dare to seek the God of Anger
I dare to seek the God of Anger
Find me, heal me with your rage
Before I destroy myself in this lonely cage
I dare to see the God of Anger

The anger I most fear is that you’ll go away
Lover despairs at beloved’s ice-cold heart
I will not reject your passion or your burning tears
I am small but burn me in your empathy – start!

I dare to seek the God of Anger
I dare to seek the God of Anger
Find me, heal me with your rage
Before I destroy myself in this lonely cage
I dare to see the God of Anger

You are angry my beloved, you are raging
Justice comes! The dispossessed are unforgotten!
The widow, the prisoner, the orphan child
Even I, the proud, the arrogant, am your begotten…

I dare to seek the God of Anger
I dare to seek the God of Anger
Find me, heal me with your rage
Before I destroy myself in this lonely cage
I dare to seek the God of Anger
Let anger burn… let anger burn….
Until God’s justice comes.
Until God’s justice comes.
Until God’s justice comes. 

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