[Editor’s Note: This post is in response to “Praying Angry,“ a piece by Robert Orsi...]
Robert Orsi, in his sensitive and insightful piece, brings out how “praying angry” is a necessary spiritual exercise for many who have been touched by God and abused by life. I say “many,” because abuse convinces some to give up on God. They trusted God to “be there” for them, to protect them from the worst that we can suffer, be, or do. They cried to the Lord in their trouble. But no rescue was forthcoming. For some, abuse makes belief in God psychologically impossible. Others conclude that even if God exists, God is not the kind of person they want to have anything to do with. Abuse is evidence that God is a deadbeat deity, that God is aloof and doesn’t care, that God is callous or cruel, even that God hates us. Still, for whatever psycho-spiritual reason, many who have been touched by God and abused by life, find themselves unable to let go. They are hurt. They feel abandoned and betrayed by God. But they aren’t finished with God. They can’t heal without confronting the authorities that allowed the abuse to happen. In imitation of the bible’s Job, praying angry calls God to account.