Please, Don’t Tolerate Me

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When the Saxophone Player went to ask my Mother for my hand in marriage, she famously said to him, “Are you sure you want to marry her? She is a very difficult person.”

He was willing to take his chances, and forever I have a story that reminds me of something quite important: I may be a very difficult person, but some people think I am worth the trouble.

I do work hard at not being a difficult person, and I have changed over the years, but I am afraid the work of perfecting Caroline will not end until she meets Jesus face-to-face.

So, I have learned to depend on love. I depend on people loving me, lumps and all. Taking me as I am, praying for me to be a more Christ-like person, but loving me through it all. I don’t know where I’d be otherwise. Alone, in a closet, I guess.

And, you know, I’d rather be alone in a closet, than with people who are only tolerating me. Please, don’t tolerate me! If you don’t love me, I will never be worthy. I will never be good enough for your exalted gatherings. I will never be safe enough for your children or small animals! If you don’t love me, my offenses will always be unforgivable to you, and for me that would be unbearable. Love me, or leave me.

There is a verse I learned when I was six-years-old in Missionettes. I did not fully understand the passage until years later, but it has been a guiding scripture for my entire life:

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

In other words, we are all difficult. At least sometimes, in some ways. This verse is addressed every one of us. We all have things about us that others do not delight in, but they are bearing with us, because they love the Lord. Verse 3 tells us that if we think we are too good to put up with each other’s shortcomings, we are badly deceived.

The Bible has so much to say to Christians about how they treat one other. I could list verses for days, but I will only share one more:

“And above all things have fervent love for one another,  for love will cover a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)

It’s that simple, you know? Love covers a multitude of sins, and I am grateful for those who love me enough, and love the Lord enough, to bear with difficult me.

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