Leave Rage Alone

Stillness defines life at the cabin. It’s quiet. The only sounds are bird calls. It is this stillness that draws us here by the wetland. But my heart is not still. It’s preoccupied with evil. This morning’s assigned psalm from The Book of Common Worship (BCW) speaks to my condition.

Do not fret yourself because of evildoers…

For they shall soon wither like the grass…

Be still before the LORD…

Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers,

the one who succeeds in evil schemes.

Refrain from anger, leave rage alone;

do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil. (Ps. 37, BCW)

“Leave rage alone.” 

Last night, after a quiet swim, I put my hearing aids back in, returned to the cabin for dinner, and listened to last Monday’s episode of The Beat, a podcast downloaded from a to Kay’s iPhone by means of WiFi earlier in the day. Back home in Chaska, we watch The Beat with Ari Melber because it suits our outrage over what is happening to America. But listening to the podcast welcomed back the toxic rage I forsake for the quiet beauty of the disconnected cabin on the wetland. It felt like a fatal assault.

1947 Pontiac hearse

Steve Shoemaker’s 1947 Hearse

Midway through the podcast, I removed my hearing aids to distance myself from the sceptic fret of rage. I was swimming in poison. It was the tone of voice that felt like death or a foreign invasion. 

The pond and the wetland are changing every day. So is the world. The Trumpeter Swans that brought such joy a month ago are gone. So are the red-wing blackbirds that earlier had feasted on the cat-n-nine tails. And the grass? Like the cat-n-nine tails, the grass is green and growing again. But the psalm reminds me that the green grass will fade to brown this autumn about the time the Trumpeter Swans return from Canada.

Meanwhile the calendar reminds me to call the company that empties the sceptic tank before it gets full and no longer works.

  • Gordon C. Stewart by the wetland, July 19, 2018.

5 thoughts on “Leave Rage Alone

  1. Thank you for the suggestion of Psalm 37. I will read it before I go to sleep tonite.

    Every nite I scream at the PBS news, as tho that will change something. So far it hasn’t. I had stopped reading anything in the NYT and that was good for a week or two. But this week I started “glancing” at the article titles. Today I read a whole article. No one was around to listen to how upset I was, Tom was asleep and my daughter refuses to listen. I’ll make more effort to not read the NYT and to follow your suggestion of reading more psalms.

    Thanks again. Hang in there,



  2. Gordon, Don’t forget to tell the septic company to empty the mouth of one foul mouth DT. I remember the septic tank we had in Florida. We were the first in the neighborhood to have an indoor toilet and bathtub. My mom planted a great variety of flowers in the soil that covered the tank. We had the most beautiful and healthiest looking flowers in the whole neighborhood. Why can’t beautiful words express great and beautiful ideas and thoughts from the mouth of you know who? thanks for sharing. Pardon my rage! Love to Elijah!


  3. I certainly understand your state. Every once in a while — in the middle of the night — I try to pray for peace for myself and love and mercy for the millions being abused here and everywhere. But the weird thing is, it reminds me of all the evil around us, so trying to pray induces severe stress and I end up doing my best to remove the metaphorical hearing aids so I can go back to sleep.

    But, Gordon, I do end up with, “We are living in interesting times” and the hope that I’ll be around long enough to see the working through of the evil in us to the good that will emerge at the other end. And I believe that’s where we are going.


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