Hatred starts fights, but love pulls a quilt over the bickering. Proverbs 10:12 MSG
One of my favorite children’s books is entitled “The Keeping Quilt” written by Patricia Polacco. The story centers around a special quilt made by a Russian woman who migrates to America that will help her and her family remember their home country. Throughout four generations, the quilt is used as a tablecloth, a huppa (a wedding canopy) and welcomes new babies.
The quilt in this story is the perfect picture for our proverb.
Sometimes we don’t see eye to eye. It can be so easy to see someone else’s mistake while our own mistakes are piled to the sky. My latest response to a fuss between some of our children was this: “Would you still care about being right if your sister or brother weren’t here? Would you rather be right, or happy?”
I think this line of thinking could easily sum up Jesus’ whole mission statement while on earth. If I really dig deep, I know there’s a way to see God’s love covering not only my wrongs, but other’s wrongs, too. Thank God that love can be right, no matter what we’ve done wrong.
Love is the “keeping quilt.” Keep it close and it can cover any offense!
Withhold not good from those to whom it is due [its rightful owners], when it is in the power of your hand to do it. Proverbs 3:27 AMP Some time ago, God helped me see that when it came to my fellow man, instead of seeing them as my brother,” I treated them like “just another.” My attitude could be characterized as “that ain’t my problem.”
Then something happens like your wife and your little ones have a flat on the highway and you are several hours away. You’ve got insurance, you’ve got AAA, but you have no control over the situation.
Will anybody stop to check on her? What kind of “anybody” will that anybody be? How will the service people treat my precious cargo in my absence? All of a sudden, you find yourself thinking and praying really hard about your “brother.”
Today’s Proverb is a bit stiff and sobering. But I think it’s a tad more digestible contextually in the more laid back Message translation:
Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God’s hand for that person. Don’t tell your neighbor “Maybe some other time” or “Try me tomorrow” when the money’s right there in your pocket. Proverbs 3:27-28 The Message
My hands, our hands, are God’s hands for our neighbors, our brothers, and our fellow man. From time to time on this journey, even the king’s carriage breaks down. So may we be found being neighborly to the brother, who in God’s eyes, is not just “another.” He is a major part of the story.