Covering, wrapping, tucking in with a kiss.
What can be done for the sinner, tired and tangled in her mess? Feed her, bathe her, dry her, clothe her, and wrap her up warm in something soft.
“A quilt is a blanket of love,” I was told as a bed was made for me. A new baby in my arms, I felt like Mary being welcomed into a home rather than a stable. My husband was out of town, and I was locked out of my house. An heirloom cradle was brought down for my little one, and we were settled into the guest room in our pastor’s home for the night.
Christians being Christ-like; I have known it. And, the welcoming is never so needed as when night is falling and you have no place to go. It is a lonely thing to be locked out, but a beautiful thing to be brought in.
I have also witness the shunning. Rather than gathering in with tender mercy, the woman caught in sin is shut out by less-sinful-sinners, exposed and dragged out into the street by the teachers, leaders, and Pharisees.
A church door slamming is a cold sound.
I have been both, the sinner and the Pharisee.
It was the lack of grace that taught me grace, the third strike that brought me out from under the legalism that smothers joy. Caught in the middle of the unrighteous-self-righteous, I finally got the message. This is not Jesus.
Put on the stand, I am found guilty, but the grace of God breathes into the vacuum of religion and warms my cold heart.
Loving the child who deserves the spanking, scooping her up in my arms, kissing the hot cheeks, holding fast the fighting arms…
“Love covers a multitude…”
Love is abundant, enough, every child needs it, every child craves it, plenty for all 6.94 billion of us…
“Love covers a multitude of sins…”
Not calling evil good, rather singing truth over the lies, whispering a lullaby into the ear of the savage beast till the wretched one stops wrestling and snuggles into the security of grace...
I have been graced.
Looking back, I see that my entire life has been graced. I am blessed beyond what I deserve. And what Satan tried to use for evil, “God intended for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives”.
I have been saved, rescued, spared.
So I will do the same for others.
I am sorry for everything: my sins, the sins of the church, the sins of my nation, the sins of the human race.
But, unlike Joseph’s brothers in Genesis 50, I will not keep groveling trying to secure forgiveness and fearfully replaying the past in hopes of finding some way to undo the irreparable mess of history… from the Crusades to the Inquisition to the Witch Trials to my own pathetic legalistic campaigns…
Life is too short, the tangle too sordid, and the answer too simple…
Only God can clean up the mess and mend the pieces together into a blanket of grace.
I will accept grace from the Author of grace, and give it… grace upon grace.
No striving, just grace. No bitterness, just grace.
Grace, Grace, Amazing Blankets of Grace.
The wrath and judgment are His. It will come, and He’ll set things right. Until then, He has called me to blanket the sinner in the truth of His loving grace.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8