I got a letter in the mail today from someone I’ve had a disagreement with. The letter was kind on the surface but – and maybe I’m reading too much into it – it was only a thin layer of kind covering a gooey slab of disdain for me.
I rarely know I’m right in an argument. I almost always apologize first, sometimes even when I know I shouldn’t. It’s dumb. I’m good at eating crow. Yum, crow.
But this time I know I’m right. It feels weird. I have proof. Digitized, e-mailed, black and white proof. And it feels weird and good. Too good.
I sat down tonight after Becky went to bed early and wrote this (wrong) person an e-mail, not to send, just to write. Do you ever do that? Just to get it off your chest? Everything you’d say if you were merciless and mean and your mamma would never find out? It was one of those.
Then I deleted it.
And I felt OK for a second or two, maybe even a full minute. Then I thought about some of the stuff Brant said in the Shlogcast I just spent hours editing yesterday. I was thinking back to those words, trying to recall them exactly when this little tan Brant(ish) angel appeared on my shoulder there playing the accordion and quoting himself to me verbatim. He was talking about the stuff in the bible that’s hard to follow, the stuff we don’t talk about very often, the crazy stuff: lend and don’t ask for repayment, don’t sue people, if someone takes your stuff don’t ask for it back. Crazy.
As I remembered Brant’s words I thought of more crazy things in the bible we don’t like to hear, like when Jesus says if you entertain and replay thoughts of having sex with someone, well, it’s the same thing as actually having sex with them. And this one’s like it: If you’re angry with someone you’re a murderer. Ouch. Darn you, Brant(ish) angel and your wee accordion of truth.
I’m thinking that blog posts and dinner table gripe sessions and dirty looks and rolled eyes and cold shoulders and e-mails – even the ones that get deleted – are killers. Violence isn’t just the stuff that draws blood and leaves a mark. What does that make me, a supposed pacifist, tonight?
Here’s a hint. Starts with an “h.”