I have continued to practice playing the guitar and have found a couple of songs that I really like that have some quick chord changes in them (at least quick for me) that I almost have memorized. My progress continues to be slow but steady but at least it is progress. And the important thing is that I am enjoying it. A couple of times Marta and I have been out and about and someone has asked me how the “guitar playing” is going. Usually before I can tell them how it is going slow but steady, Marta jumps in and tells them how great I am doing. She even tells me on a regular basis. I practice in my study which is a good distance away from the living room and at first I wondered if she was not able to hear the all too frequent mistakes. There are still too many times when my fingers feel like cucumbers and I just can’t seem to press the strings down against the frets in the right position and the result is a buzzing sound that sends the dogs scattering from the room. Or my timing gets off and what started off as a slow waltz ends up being super-fast Johnny Cash “chic-a-boom” style song like Folsom Prison Blues. All these flaws and she thinks I’m doing great. And I thought I was the one who was tone deaf. The truth is; she is not tone deaf. The truth is she loves me. Because she loves me, she sees me through eyes of grace. Because of grace, she focuses on the steps of progress I have made, not the missteps I am making. She loves me and I love her too.
Love is the lens the lets us look at other people through eyes of grace. Love is the lens that lets us overlook the flaws in other people and see their intentions. Love is so important that when Jesus was asked which commandment was the greatest, He answered in Matthew 22:37 “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Yes, love is important. When we love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind we will seek to do His will, to honor Him, and to live in a way that brings Him honor and glory. It also means we are to love others as we love ourselves. We are to show care and concern for others. We are to treat them as we want to be treated.
Because we love others, we are to look at them through eyes of grace. Sometimes we are too quick to notice the one or two things that are done wrong instead of the things that are done right. We do it in our lives and we do it in the lives of others; we focus on one or two notes that weren’t quite right and declare the whole song flawed. That type of assessment can cause people to give up. This does not mean that we should walk in compromise. We can appropriately point out areas of growth or issues needing correction but as we do so, we must do so in love. We are not to discourage one another but are called to encourage one another (1 Thess 5:11 and Heb 3:13). Love encourages one another because love looks through eyes of grace. It is good to be loved. The Lord loves me. My wife loves me – even if I’m not Stevie Ray Vaughn. Until next time keep the faith.