READ : Philippians 1:9-11
. . . that your love may overflow . . . with knowledge and full insight. (v. 9)
Love declares: it is so good that you exist, that you are in my life. More, love actively seeks the other’s welfare.
Of course, we’re not always lovable. Does love, then, require a blind eye? Do we pretend not to see the sin? Paul argues that what’s required of love is not ignorance but a greater insight. Love perceives what is not apparent to the casual observer.
Many years ago, when I was a student, I worked as a part-time orderly in a psychiatric hospital. My job was to take care of the severely mentally impaired. One resident in particular would often obstruct my work. I did not like him; sometimes I would push him roughly out of my way.
One day, I see him sitting in the visiting room next to an elderly woman who is holding his hand in hers and gently stroking it. It is his mother. This will sound foolish, but I had never thought of him as having a mother who loved him.
In that moment I saw him more truly. It changed my perception, my whole way of looking at him.
Paul prays that our love may know others more and more as God knows them; such insight will produce in us a harvest of righteousness.
Dear God, open our eyes to see others as you see them. Amen.