Friday, July 22, 2011

Love covers a multitude of sins

"Love covers a multitude of sins."

Have you ever seen the verse, "Love covers a multitude of sins"? It is one of my favorites and I pull it up in my mind often. Jesus is so interested in love and wants us to love like He loves. Notice I did not say "loved" as if He was still dead...

I love it when the Holy Spirit helps me retrieve this verse so I can apply it to my life and extend mercy, cut someone some slack, or react differently than I would have years ago, before I began to zero in on this verse.

Today after work I stopped by a grocery store that I usually do not frequent. I ordered a pre-made raw salad and a nice young man saw me waiting at the deli counter, parked his broom, and offered to assist me. I wondered if he would wash his hands or put on gloves before he helped me. After all, he had been cleaning only God knows what.

He did neither...

He reached for a long-handled spoon to scoop out my broccoli-raisin salad and I thought, "Well, how easily can germs make it from his hands to the broccoli, down that long handle in just a few short seconds?" I let it slide instead of making a big issue out of it...

There was only one problem: some of the broccoli flopped out onto his hand and he just took that spoon and scooped it right back into my container! At that point I had to choose how I would respond.

Instead of giving him a big lecture on why he should wear gloves and how he should not sell food that has touched his hand, I just felt led show some grace and smile, thanking him for the friendly service.

I then had to decide if I was going to march to the manager, demand a free broccoli salad and report the young man...

So I paid for the salad and shared the story with the Lord's kindness, while emphasizing that the man was one of the nicest people I had ever met and his customer service was excellent. All he needed was some training about health codes. The manager said he was new and would explain their policy. I doubt he was ever told about the gloves...

This man didn't "sin" against me as the verse states, but in my quest to grow in love and become more and more like Jesus, I look for little everyday ways I can apply his grace and love to others. I wonder if this was a small, silly way to do this... I really don't know, but just wanted to write about it. Maybe my two sons will stumble upon it one day and use it to address another scenario.

Yesterday while I was in the waiting room at the doctor's office the person at the desk asked each person who checked in to have their picture taken so it appears on their chart. They do this at MD Anderson, too, so they can be assured that you are you. There was a woman who became unglued, verbally outraged, over this and I felt for her, that such a thing would set her off like that. I felt compassion, though, and wondered if a cancer diagnosis had just caused her to cave in.

I think God cares about the little things as well as the big things. He cares about how we treat people - all people. We can exhort people or "teach" them in love and humility. I want to be better at that! I can recall times when I was just like that woman. I want to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord...

Today was a good day. I am thankful for another day. (Anne Buck, July 22, 11)

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