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

I was reading 1 Chronicle 1 this morning, and found an interesting detail. Ham’s descendants include the Philistines and the Amorites, two of Israel’s greatest enemies. Genesis 10 indicates that he fathered those who populated Canaan, including the area of Sodom and Gomorrah. Dishonoring his father sent repercussions through generations for centuries.  Could he have guessed how far his disdain would spread?

One heart’s attitude, a solitary moment, a single act–each seems irrelevant to the condition of our world. The mind comforts us with logic, reasoning away minor and personal choices between love and lovelessness. The universe shifts along such tiny pivots, however.

Peter felt this as a visceral reality. He observed an innocent man laying down His divine life to transform the course of eternity. Peter watched countless acts by which Christ demonstrated ultimate love to all men, but his front seat to the crucifixion and resurrection trumped them all. As if that weren’t enough, Jesus sought him out afterward to drive the power of a world-changing love choice into the core of Peter’s soul.

Jesus offered Peter the chance to verify his love the same number of times he’d denied it. He even encouraged a deeper relationship, to truly love Him. Peter experienced divine grace and love firsthand, compelling his heart to nourish God’s children. The rock foundation for the church had to live the message of life-transforming love. Could he have guessed how far each of his decisions to emulate Christ’s love would spread?

Could Dorcas have known her kindness to widows would trigger pleas to resurrect her, much less to establish modern foundations to care for the needy in her name?

Could Ruth have known her love for Naomi would establish her as the great-grandmother of King David and an ancestress of Christ?

Did the author of the Serenity Prayer imagine its impact upon countless recovering souls?

Would the woman who smiled and encouraged a stranger recognize she’d saved a life?

Love covers a multitude of sins, sheds light into the darkness, and melts the chill of evil from the world. One heart’s attitude, one moment, and one choice at a time.