I hear it all the time; you are a saint, you are an angel, etc. I appreciate it and I’m flattered by it, but I assure you, it’s not the truth.
I have done some great things in my life that have made positive impacts to the lives of others such as being a foster parent, my volunteer work, and adopting my kids. I’m not minimizing those things by any means. I want to leave the world a better place than it would be without me, which is how I define success.
But let’s talk about saints and angels. If we look at some of the defining qualities of saints and angels, I think we can agree that a pure heart would be on those lists. My heart isn’t pure. I know what’s healthy is forgiveness and letting go of anger, but I still carry anger and hatred, yup, real full blown hatred. I know it’s a strong word and I know it’s meaning and it IS the right word. It isn’t dislike, it’s hatred. It hasn’t lessened over time, it’s been almost a decade now, and it’s as strong as it was in the beginning. I’m lucky that it doesn’t leak out to other areas of my life and that it’s not in my face all the time since I haven’t seen him in years, but it is in my head and in my heart.
For those of you thinking, “your hatred can’t be THAT bad because you haven’t killed the jerk or lit him on fire and put it out before he could escape the pain through death and have to live the rest of his miserable life with scars and pain” (too graphic?) Let me assure you that it isn’t my high moral compass, another quality we can probably agree that saints and angels all possess, keeping that man alive, it is strictly my fear of prison. There’s something about strip searches, metal toilets, group showers, only seeing my kids through glass, thin mattresses, and eating off of a tray that doesn’t appeal to me. THAT is what keeps him safe from me.
I’m usually a positive and happy person; I think people see that and assume it means goodness, like saints and angels. I AM a good person; I’m kind, loving, patient, compassionate, honest, and will often put others’ needs ahead of my own. Like saints and angels. Unlike saints and angels, I also have some very negative human character weaknesses like anger, hatred, judgement, and nasty un-Christian thoughts. So next time you think you see a saint or an angel, check out the halo and make sure it isn’t being held up by a pair of horns.
*pic- the kids at Gatorland in Orlando, Florida