“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8
Frost is in the air. You can feel it.
Any day now, we will get our first sharp frost of the season. Tender annuals will get nipped and turn black. Good-bye, cucumbers and pumpkins. Good- bye, zucchinis.
Unless we cover them.
I have amassed a startling variety of old blankets, sheets, chunks of burlap, and marketed ‘frost protection’ fabrics to use in said coverup. It looks a little ridiculous, these flapping, mis-matched blankets – rather like a crazy-quilt for a giant.
It may look ridiculous, but it gets the job done. It provides just enough insulation to stave off the first few light frosts, until the Big Freeze settles itself in for a long winter’s nap. If there is nice weather in the forecast beyond a few nippy nights, it is well worth the effort to cover a plant here and there to help it mature more or stay beautiful beyond the danger points.
So it is with acts of kindness, and demonstrations of love.
See, if I love someone, I will give them the benefit of the doubt if they come across as frosty. If their conduct seems cold. If their go-to response has a bit of a bite to it. I may know them well enough to know that circumstances have been weighing them down and leaving them cold. It helps me to overlook small ‘frosts’, if you will, and tides me over until their mood thaws.
A stranger? Or an enemy, someone I might expect to harbour ulterior motives? If they happen to give me the cold shoulder, I would be much more apt to believe ill of them.
If I have a history with someone – a colleague, a friend, a neighbour – especially one who has done me a good turn, it helps to smooth over a small glitch in communication, or ease past a bump in relations.
Like a warm blanket draped over a zucchini plant to ease it through a temporary cold snap, love can provide protection from the small bumps and tumbles that come with maintaining relationship with fellow Fallen One.
(To be clear, I’m not talking about the major issues here. Those need to be handled head on, and can’t or shouldn’t be overlooked. I’m talking the nitty gritty, the annoying habit, the small irritations that spring up that aren’t a legal or moral but a preference or personality issue.)
Showing love daily – looking out for another’s best interests, taking their needs and likes and dislikes into account, finding ways to lighten their burden – is like spreading out a quilt on a cold prairie evening.
I so crave this grace.
I so need to learn to extend this grace to others, to learn to overlook the small things in order to maintain the overall health of the relationship.
So let’s not give up on the great coverup.
Learn to extend grace like a warm blanket with me?
Father, living and working among imperfect people can be irritating to say the least. But You showed such grace, forgiving us our many sins. Bless us with the ability to overlook the small stuff as we learn to love well and live in grace. Amen.