From cover to cover

“You’re going to cover that, right?” Standard microwave-operating question. It’s actually more command than question. And I don’t think the answer should ever be “no.” Especially if it’s a lasagna reheat. Heating uncovered lasagna in the microwave leaves a tiny-little murder scene.

Still, through the years—more than once, even—I’ve heard one of my family members answer something like, “It’s fine. I’m only heating it for a few seconds.” I picture myself stringing tiny crime scene tape. So I’ve mostly responded: “What I hear you saying is that you’re volunteering to scrub the microwave.”

When we were raising our kids and had a slew of teenagers at home, I remember one time in particular opening my microwave and finding a fat mound of cheese cooked onto the bottom. I’m pretty sure a teen’s recipe for nachos goes like this:

• Take a pile of chips that’s much too large for the microwave.

• Add a ridiculous amount of cheese. I’m talking, ridiculous.

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• And then, hey, why not add more cheese? Cheese is awesome.

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• And you know what? The bag is practically empty now, so might as well dump the rest on there. All of it. Because…cheese.

The funniest part was that my teenagers rarely noticed the microwave mess. There’s no way you could move those nachos out of the microwave without an eight-foot stretchy cheese-string following you to the table. But no one caught it. My teens had an impressive way of choosing what not to notice.

I’d like to give them a hard time about it, except I’ve seen a version of it in myself. Why is it so much easier to find fault in someone else than it is to notice a weakness of my own? There I go. Stringing that eight-foot cheese rope.

Jesus reminds me to notice. He asked in Matthew 7:3, “Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye?” (CSB). In the next verses, He points out the hypocrisy of trying to clean up someone else’s mess without taking care of my own.

All through the Bible, our God “covers” that subject well, as it were. He instructs us to let Him take care of our sin problem, and then let Him show us how to love harder than we blame, to show grace more than we accuse or find fault. Not ignore injustice or make room for sin. But overlook annoyances and rise above petty offenses. We’re called to remember that God has forgiven us, and then notice where love is needed instead of judgment.

Love? It covers.

“Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins,” (1 Peter 4:8 CSB). Peter isn’t saying that by loving others, our sins will be forgiven. Scripture is clear that our sin is covered entirely by the blood of Christ. It’s the most thorough covering in existence. Peter is saying, rather, that when we love someone well, we’re not so quick to notice his cheesiness.

I need to remember this often. To notice it well. I need to notice it with intensity and with intention. Thank You, Lord, that You live in me, and that You are faithful to remind. You’ve got it covered.

By the way, I’m extra glad for every opportunity we have to cover this topic. In an entirely different way, I’m extra glad we now almost always cover our lasagna. 

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