[Rector]

Righteous indignation

 

"A person who has done you in will never forgive you." A quote from my mate Roger who was a bit of a lateral thinker.

It was one of those beautiful autumn days, crisp and clear, the sun brilliant but not burning. The leaves had started to fall from the Poplars and had created a soft brown blanket about us. The drive to Wombian caves had been a horror, but now in the caves valley, it was total relaxation. We had been out for an hour or so gathering firewood. All the chopping and sawing up was now completed, the timber stacked next to the barbecue; all was ready for the sausage sizzle and campfire in the evening.

As we sat talking, a lady from a neighboring campsite came over and started to gather up an armful of our timber. We all watched in amazement, and out of shock, not a word was said. As she walked off, there was some nervous laughter. Deep in the recess of our psyche there lay the sense that existence could easily be reduced to dog eat dog. Underneath all the trappings of society, law and order, niceness, lay chaos and darkness.

To our amazement, she returned a few minutes later. This time one of our group bravely asked whether she might consider not taking our wood, but go and get her own. As you can imagine, she was not at all reticent in letting us know how selfish and inconsiderate we were. Having pointed out our evil to us, she moved away exhibiting a most praiseworthy performance of disgust. Of course, she was not going to let the incident pass so easily. Her righteous indignation had not yet run its full course. An hour later she came past our campsite with a bundle of chopped wood.

"See" she said with a touch of venom, "other people are happy to share their wood with me. They are not selfish like you."

On the following day, every time we crossed paths with our lady friend, she continued to remind us of our evil and corrupt ways. I suspect the only way to shut her up would have been a punch in the mouth, but then no one in our groups was willing to go that far. In fact, we just sat there sheepishly as she did her job on us. Maybe she was right, we thought. What would Jesus have done if he were with us? Would he have not only let her take the bundle of wood, but carried another one over for her? Why not ask, would he have encouraged stealing?

Righteous indignation is the normal ploy of religious people who find it necessary to hide their own corruption behind the imagined corruption of others. Such a person will never forgive you, particularly if you dare to resist their evil. For to resist their evil, is to expose their evil. To expose their evil is to incur their venom.

"Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."