Silent Acts of Love
In the final verses of chapter 9, we find Noah in a state of shame.
This isn’t the Noah that obediently gathered all the animals into an ark + patiently waited on God after the flood.
The Noah that walked with God so faithfully.
The Noah who submitted to the Lord’s Will.
Noah is drunk and naked.
His son, Ham, is the first to see him, and he tells his brothers, Shem + Japheth. The only response his brothers have is to cover their father.
They don’t say anything. They don’t tell anyone else. They don’t even look at their drunk, passed out father — maybe to preserve their image of him as an honorable man.
They just show him mercy through a silent act of love.
When I first read this, I struggled to find what wisdom God wanted me to discover and apply to my own life.
Yes, this reminds of the works of mercy Jesus tells his disciples in the Gospel of Matthew: clothe the naked. But I needed to find something deeper that would move me deeply at my core.
And then it hit me —forgiveness without judgment.
I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t always had the most forgiving relationship with my parents after their divorce. This passage reminded me that my parents are not perfect people.
We remember Noah for his faithful + obedient works. But just like any human being — even though he walked with the Lord — he is susceptible to failure.
When you realize that someone who is supposed to love you greatly can disappoint + hurt you, it stings.
It’s heartbreaking, to be completely transparent + honest.
It’s not easy to forgive — let alone LOVE someone who has betrayed you. In turn, sins committed against us can leave deep wounds.
It becomes hard to trust again. To let ourselves be vulnerable after we’ve been wounded in some way.
But God continually calls us to extend forgiveness to those who have hurt us, especially in the most difficult moments. Forgiving them in our hearts, just as God forgives us.
Looking to the New Testament, I remember Jesus’ sacrifice of love even though He was betrayed by those closest to Him.
We sin against Jesus again and again. But in His goodness, He accepts us as we are in our naked + shameful state, and extends His mercy so that we may be reunited with Him.
This New Year, I challenge you all (and myself!) to think of forgiveness as ultimately an act of healing in your own heart.
True healing requires that we see others as God sees them and let go of any bitterness eating at our spirits.
Only in the act of genuine forgiveness can we be liberated to live our relationships fully in peace.
I don’t know what Shem and Japheth were feeling in that moment when they were told their father was found in a shameful condition.
But it’s what they did that matters most. Forgiveness without judgment.
So, as we end this study, how can we show mercy through silent acts of love? How can we make more room in our hearts for love, mercy, and forgiveness — without judgment?
Peace be with you, my gorgeous faithful sister.