Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
– Colossians 3:12-14
I can’t seem to get away from these verses.
I opened the back door, night still closing us in. I breathed in the morning air and listened. I couldn’t tell if it was raining, but the birds chirped their greeting. I figured it was all clear. I snuck out and ran.
As I walked down the driveway, I noticed something in the ever-lightening sky. The moon, full at the end of last week, glowed like a bright crescent pinned to the sky. Everything else around it was simply background.
I think when we’re full of God’s love, nothing else can get to us. People can say hurtful things about us but it doesn’t impact our hearts. We can take the blame for things we didn’t do without retaliating. Clothing ourselves with love blesses those around us. We become a tight-woven fabric, able to fit into the quilt of others’ lives for a season.
Something else I notice about this passage is that *we* have to put on love. This implies two things. One: it’s a choice. I can put on love or put on…whatever. Like when I get dressed in the morning, I pick out my own clothes despite special requests (“Wear the sparkly shoes, Mom!”) from Ruby. Second: it’s gotta be me putting it on. God won’t do it for me. It goes back to the free will clause for all humanity, amazing and frustrating all at once.
The thing is, when we can rest in His love no matter what comes at us, we will shine. We will reflect His glory and draw others to Him.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world...- Philippians 2:14-15