Friday, January 11, 2013

Things I Learned in 2012 that I’m Taking with Me into 2013: Part I - Love Covers Over a Multitude of Sins

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  I Peter 4:8

There is a Sara Groves song called When It Was Over that I used to listen to all the time.  I was pregnant with Clare when my brother got me the cd and I loved it.  Listened to it almost every morning.  Even back then I knew how true it was.  Mostly.

Here’s the chorus and then the end of the song...

Oh love wash over a multitude of things
Love wash over a multitude of things
Love wash over a multitude of things
Make us whole

There is a love that never fails
There is a healing that always prevails
There is a hope that whispers a vow
A promise to stay while we're working it out
So come with your love and wash over us

What really resonates with me is how it’s about the power of God’s love, but the power of our love for one another too.  People-love can be pretty powerful - because of God’s movement in it.  And it’s a good thing, because we have plenty of sins that need to be washed over - by our friends, our family, our children, and our spouses.

This year was a tough one for us.  I thought the years during the house building were rough, but since then we have had our share of valleys.  But the mountains have been amazing, too, because forgiveness really is incredible.  It changes everything.  It changes the way you think about the past; it changes the way you look at each other; it changes your view of a future together.

Love covers over a multitude of sins.  And when you’ve been forgiven - when you’ve truly been loved by someone that way - loving and forgiving others makes more sense.  It does make you whole.  

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”  

Not because it feels good or gets us what we want.  
Not because it is self-serving or because we are paying penance.  
Not because it will lead to happiness or necessarily to less suffering.  

Right there in the verse, spelled out quite clearly, are a couple of Truths that we would prefer to ignore.  It turns out LOVE acts as a sort of healing agent to the SIN that we have to deal with in our lives.  And our SIN doesn’t just crop up once in a blue moon.  The “love each other deeply” part is emphasized over and over again because that is what fixes this other thing that shows up so frequently - SIN.  

Love each other deeply.  Your neighbor, your crazy aunts and uncles, your angry grandfather, your boss, your difficult child, your frustrating spouse.  Love them deeply.  Like you would love yourself.  Sometimes we don’t know what that means.  But because we choose to act in love, we pursue answers.  We do the best we can.  We find a way.   

I’m not trying to speak in code here.  I’m not making some general statement about how you should stay married or be super nice to someone.  That’s not really what Love is necessarily about.  I’m just saying that the problem and the solution are wrapped up in this verse, and the Truth that it holds is profound.  

It makes us whole.  

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