In an episode of the ever-popular British series, Doctor Who, one of the friends of the Doctor loses someone that she loves dearly to a fatal car accident. In a scene early in the show, the character’s grandmother looks at the depressed and shocked young woman and says “you both deserved better than this.” The girl, Clara, responded with “Deserve? No one deserves anything…but I am owed!”
The bitter blade of understanding gets me when I watch this scene. That’s me. I’m the person that the actress is portraying through Clara in that scene. No one has died, but I have experienced different types of loss and I turn to God in anger, sadness, and shock. With my fist clenched and tears building behind my optic nerves I look up to the sky demanding to know why and declaring my case for “justice.”
Like Job, I look to God with a self-righteous indignation and demand what I’m “owed” of Him. This is the emotional conundrum of Christianity. How can a person who has sought to live a life of devotion to God experience loss, pain, mental illness, or dissonance? Why does suffering rest on the heads of God’s people?
What is all of this but the raging emotions of a child trying to find his way home? I walk a path that lacks truth and understanding. I am a sinner to the core and there is hatred in my heart. Nothing in my is truly pure.
I confess my anger. I confess my selfish demand for recompense, for justice, for vengeance, for compensation, and I confess my relentless envy. The envy interweaved through my thoughts and mixed into the motivations that propel me to action.
It is the sin that most haunts me and most dominates my life. It is envy that binds me and leaves me chained; believing that I am owed.