Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. – I Peter 4:8
This morning I dragged myself out of bed twenty minutes earlier than I normally do to just be quiet with a cup of coffee in front of the fireplace.
Next to me on the side table was our Orthodox Study Bible. Having become more convinced than ever in my middle age that nothing is accidental, I took this as an invitation to break it open – something I should be doing regularly but haven’t.
The above verse from I Peter was part of today’s scripture reading. I sat there with it and meditated on its significance for a moment.
How unambiguous it is. Love and mercy trump everything: being right, being vindicated, being safe and inconvenienced, being sucessful. Even the overwhelming burden of our own habitual sinfulness cannot thwart them.
Where do I start? How do I proceed, being so broken, anxious about the future, hopelessly imperfect and all?
By being as loving, giving, patient as possible with the person right in front of me in gratitude of Christ’s unconditional compassion toward us.
I daresay, everything else then will fall into place as it mysteriously and redemptively should.
At least that’s what I’m banking on, forsaking my biases, short-sighted expectations and jealousy of my time in the process.
“However hard I try, I find it impossible to construct anything greater than these three words, ‘Love one another’ —only to the end, and without exceptions: then all is justified and life is illumined, whereas otherwise it is an abomination and a burden.”
- Mother Maria of Paris