I’ve been reading Colossians a lot lately. Over and over again. Today it’s this verse.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
Deep sigh. Going into the day with a hug all around me, loved. The sparkle in a friend’s eye when they delight in me, the cries of my children when I arrive home after being away, an arm around my shoulders, God standing behind me- what does it mean to be holy and dearly loved? Set apart, not flailing in an impossible sea. Held. Unarmed because I am already protected.
Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Today I put on fisherman pants and one of Chinua’s T-shirts. Then those got wet on the motorbike when I drove through a rainstorm. So I changed to leggings and a top that used to be really beautiful but is now rather faded and a little torn. Clothe myself. Put on compassion. Pull it on, really think about it, really get ready for the day with kindness like a pair of pants, with humility like my glasses that I wouldn’t leave the house without. Gentleness. Patience. I’m ready for anything now. Ready to look around the world at my brothers and sisters and really see them.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
This reminder carries the tiniest, gentlest bite. Forgive how? As the Lord forgave you. Bear with one another… how? Why? He bears with you and more. He listens when you are being a total jerk. He doesn’t walk away during your rants. So you can bear with one another. It’s possible. You just need to tap into being dearly loved…
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Love is the superhero cape that you tie on last, or the cloak that swirls around you, protecting you. When you truly love someone, you smile at their ridiculously beautiful tiny human ways. You love them, you love them, you love them. When you love you enter into the warm realms, the Kingdom of God, a place so rich with belonging that everything else fizzles and falls away.
And it doesn’t mean that the warm realms don’t have hard things, hard truths. Not even belonging can keep regular human consequences away. But God will be there, and we can do all things with him in our midst.
I pray that today you know you are holy and dearly loved.