O Perfect Love

What if we saw the best in people?  When our spouse offered to do something in a way that we did not prefer, instead of complaining, we saw the good in the effort.  Not how annoying it was that they did it differently.  Or wrong.  Or what if when our children decided to ‘help out’, only creating more work for us in the end, we saw the good in their eagerness?  Not how delayed we now were in cleaning up behind.  In getting off our schedule.

What if we saw the best in ourselves?  The hard work, the effort that we put into our jobs, our marriages, our parenting, our homes.  The time we invest in people we love, in projects we care about, in ideas that matter: that we are truly success stories when we think about it.  What if for even a day we saw ourselves as successes, not failures?   As winners, not losers.  Triumphs, not disappointments.

Sometimes it is hard to see the best in people.  It is hard to see the best in a spouse, friend or colleague who doesn’t live up to the expectations set.  Who views the world through a different lens or view point.  Who doesn’t share one’s passion and goals.  Or worse.  Who inflicts pain and makes life misery.  It is hard to see the best in children who fight, whine and cry about the pettiest of problems.  Who complain and fuss about your teaching or parenting style.  Who give you grief and heartache.  And it is sometimes hard to see the best in ourselves.  We are often our own worst enemy.  We fall short of our own high expectations and desires.

It is true.  It is hard to see the best in people.  A particularly people who are willingly hurtful.  Who take advantage, take for granted or abuse.  Who are insensitive, spiteful, wounding.  It is hard to live in a world where people are hurting people everywhere.  But then again.  Everywhere you go, people are hurting.

And that’s the thing.

People everywhere are hurting.  And as hard as it is to see the best in people, we can see the hurt that sometimes hides the best that people have to offer.  And when the hurt is removed, there is a person exposed, vulnerable, with feelings, reasons and pain.  What if just for today, we tried to understand the person.

I’m not talking about being a doormat.  This is not about passively accepting things for what they are, but about trying to unravel the mystery.  It’s about seeing that inside every wound is the possibility for healing.  Inside every book are the words that tell the story.  Inside every person is a soul.

What might happen in this world if we took it upon ourselves to understand and love people?  The way God loves us.  Loving us where we are.  For who we are.  In spite of ourselves.  That’s perfect love.

Perfect love casts out fear.  Fear drives pain.  Pain causes misery.  Misery devastates.

Misery caused by pain driven by fear can be solved in just two words: perfect love.

O perfect love.