Hospital Gown

Proverbs 10:12

One of the hardest things for a new couple is their first fight. How they move toward each during and following the fight makes a big difference. When we are able to move toward the other person, hear and understand their position, their hurt and pain, the better our relationship becomes. If we end up feeling alone, we can be headed for trouble.

We all know people who love stirring up trouble. At the root of that stirring is hatred. They would probably not state it this way, but that is the reality. Hate puts us in the lashing out mood. We want to strike at anything that seems to get in our way. Hate is often indiscriminate about where and when it strikes. It doesn’t need justice to step over the line, it isn’t in charge at that point. And as a result, hate often strikes the innocent.

Hate is like a stick poking at the embers in a campfire, hoping to get a bit more flame to rise. Hate doesn’t even need to be in the fire. It is often content to get other people fighting. So if you see conflict, take a look at the sidelines. Perhaps the hate is throwing the punches, but poking the embers.

By contrast, love works to resolve conflicts. It does so through forgiveness and reconciliation. Love brings people together rather than pushing them apart. Love is always seeing the best in other people, perhaps deeply buried best.

Love isn’t about pacifying people. Love doesn’t bury wrongs, it covers them.

I remember being in the hospital for an operation. You know those hospital gowns that let the world see your backside, well I had one of them on. I had to walk down the hallway for a test. I covered my backside to hide my private parts. I didn’t want others to feel shame at seeing me exposed. My private parts were still there, just covered. It was not that I was trying to say they didn’t exist, but that I didn’t want other people having to divert their eyes to keep from shaming me. I didn’t want my nakedness to distract people’s attention away from other important things.

Love covers the wrongs so that they don’t get in the way of relationship. If we hold onto wrongs, soon our arms are filled with them, and we can’t experience the world without the wrongs overtaking it. We cover them so that our gaze can look beyond them to a better future, in hopes that someday the wrongs can be made right.

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