Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Pt. 4:8)
He was a difficult man. Everywhere he went he was disruptive and disrespectful. People tried to avoid him.
One day he burst into my office and said, “Today I’m going to tell you my story.” I didn’t know this, but twenty years before he had been a father. One night when his baby boy wouldn’t stop fussing, the man had yelled at his baby to shut up. The next morning he found his son dead in his crib. He blamed himself. His wife also blamed him and left him.
For the next twenty years he carried around his grief, guilt, and pain. He treated people awfully—not because he was a mean man, but because he was a broken man. At the end of our time together, he said, “I need to apologize to a lot of people.”
He was good at his word. At the next bible study he asked if he could talk first. The folks thought he was just trying to take over once more, but then he told his story. He described what had happened to his baby boy. He talked about his terrible grief. He said he was sorry for how he had treated them.
He sobbed as he talked about his son. Many cried with him. They poured out compassion upon him. They spoke tenderly to him. They hugged this formerly prickly man. They prayed for him, his ex-wife, and his deceased son.
From that day forward, he was a different man. When he heard about a family in need, he would help them. When someone asked for assistance with a project, he showed up with his tools.
In today’s scripture, Peter says that love covers a multitude of sins. Love can also cover and heal deep hurt, great shame, terrible guilt, and much grief.
I encourage us to think, act, and speak like that community did on that day. The love we share with each other can heal and redeem. The love that man received that day changed his life. The love we share with each other can do the same.
- Is there any grief, loss, pain, guilt, or brokenness that you need covered up and healed by love now in your life? If so, what?
- How could Jesus be calling you to cover up with love someone who is in distress right now? Who might that person be? Are you willing to reach out?
- Our only hope for healing is love. Our only hope for forgiveness is grace. Are you receiving the love and grace that Jesus is offering to you? Are you sharing what you have received with others?