Love Covers

Pen and Paint Reflections with Karen and Karen

by Christine Sine

Writing by Karen Wilk and visual art by Karen Tamminga-Paton

Love Covers

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of wrongs.”  1 Peter 4:8

My daughters and I had a conversation about this verse last summer. It needs some midrashing.  Surely it does not mean that love just covers up wrongdoing- injustice, abuse, prejudice, discrimination, inequality!  They were dissatisfied with the way it could be interpreted.  So what does it mean?  How does love break down walls and forgive without dismissing, denying or diminishing the magnitude of wrongs done and being done in the world, both near and far?   Good questions for Lent. Good questions for pondering Karen Tamminga-Paton’s painting, titled Love Covers.  Study it and ponder the poetry…

Love covers
      Like a cozy sweater
            Comfortably snug
      Like a soft blanket
                  And a warm hug.
Love covers
      When we need to see
            When it’s time to learn
                  Or unlearn what used to be
Some say, “I don’t see colour”
I say I want to see more
      And know more, honestly
That love might cover
      With tender-heartedness
            Listening ears, and open-handedness.
For there is no separation
      in a hug, we embrace
            On par, mutual grace,
                  A shared, and safe space…
So that in covering, love reveals
      Our common humanity
            Creator’s inclusivity
                  The beauty of diverse community
                  The wonder of colour in unity
                        The sweetness of multiple harmonies…

BUT how can love cover a multitude of wrongs?
      Racist violent brutalities
            Bombings with words and weapons,
                  So many systemic biased realities
How can love cover
      Our ignorance, and impudence
            Such widespread avoidance and discordance?

I have no answer, yet I know:
Love endures, and love with kindness grows,
Love carries, cures, and cares
Love gives, forgives and all things bears
Love, Eternal and Divine,
And we, the heirs
      Don’t we know?
Love, love
            is at the end of every road
      Carrying the heavy,
                  Covering all the flaws and vice
                        In life restoring sacrifice
                                    In willing, woeful suffering–
      That we might behold:
Love’s warm embrace unfold
      And with gentleness take hold
            And change our every day
                        Compassion on display
Precious poignant tug
      Simple, not-so-simple hug
            Come, come what may–
Love, hear us when we pray,
      Love cover all
            Love have Your way.

Find more of Karen Tamminga-Paton’s art on her website here.

Preparing for the Garden Walk of Holy Week

In the last few days of his life, Jesus moved from garden to garden from suffering to resurrection.

Join Christine Sine for a Lent retreat that reflects on this journey and prepares for the challenging week that follows Palm Sunday.

Click here to register! We are once again offering several price points to aid those who are students or in economic hardship

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