This week has brought something else to my attention - something about which I hinted near the end of my post last week. In that post, I said:
I don't have to pursue them; they will find me completely on their own.
I have come to realize clearly this week that there is more to not being easily provoked than responding to the actions of people directly explicitly at me. As I said last week, things happen naturally in mortality that aren't "planned" in any way - things that are negative and can cause someone "to react in anger, rage, exasperation, vexation or resentment". (to be easily provoked) I have known this, as it is obvious when considered, but focusing on this aspect of charity this week has brought these instances into very sharp relief for me.
I have found that it is even harder sometimes not to react to "life" when it is naturally difficult than to "people" when they act in a hurtful manner. This probably is because people are tangible and easily identified, while "life" is ambiguous and intangible. When someone is hurt by "life", often the only way to personify or embody the hurt is to blame God. In these situations, when hurt needs an outlet (someone to blame), God is an easy target. This is true especially if someone views God as a micro-manager - someone / something that controls all events of one's life (or, at least, those that seem important).
What struck me is that those who view God as responsible directly for all the good things in their lives can have a very difficult time not holding God responsible for the bad things in their lives - at least when those bad things appear to be unexplainable. Sometimes, this actually can result in a "positive" conclusion (like when someone dies and those left behind conclude that "God must have needed her more than we do"), but if such a conclusion is not available readily or comforting the natural "anger, rage, exasperation, vexation or resentment" that would be directed toward a tangible target can be re-directed at God - and the more "tangible" one sees God, the more likely he might be to transfer negative emotions in such a manner.
I honestly have no idea why this stood out so clearly to me this week, but it is what I "learned". I simply hope it helps someone in some way.