Chapter 12 ;A Cloak of Love ;Love . . . always protects. ;1 Corinthians 13:6-7 niv ;We hide. He seeks. We bring sin. He brings a sacrifice. We try fig leaves. He brings the robe of righteousness. And we are left to sing the song of the prophet: "He has covered me with clothes of salvation and wrapped me with a coat of goodness, like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding like a bride dressed in jewels" (Isa. 61:10). ;In the 1930s, Joe Wise was a young, single resident at Cook Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. Patients called him the "doctor with the rose." He made them smile by pinning a flower from bedside bouquets on his lab coat. ;Madge, however, needed more than a smile. The automobile accident had left her leg nearly severed at the knee. She was young, beautiful, and very much afraid. When Joe spotted her in the ER, he did something he'd never done before. ;Joe took his lab coat, bejeweled with the rose, and placed it gently over the young woman. As she was wheeled into the operating room, the coat was removed, but she asked to keep the flower. When she awoke from surgery, it was still in her hand. ;When I tell you that Madge never forgot Joe, you won't be surprised. When I tell you how she thanked him, you very well may be. ;But before we finish the story of Joe's cloak, could I ask you to think about your own? Do you own a cloak of love? Do you know anyone who needs one? When you cover someone with concern, you are fulfilling what Paul had in mind when he wrote the phrase "love . . . always protects" (1 Cor. 13:4-7 niv). ;Paul employed a rich word here. Its root meaning is "to cover or conceal." Its cousins on the noun side of the family are roof and shelter. When Paul said, "Love always protects," he might have been thinking of the shade of a tree or the refuge of a house. He might even have been thinking of a coat. One scholar thinks he was. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament is known for its word study, not its poetry. But the scholar sounds poetic as he explains the meaning of protect as used in 1 Corinthians 13:7. The word conveys, he says, "the idea of covering with a cloak of love."1 ;Remember receiving one? You were nervous about the test, but the teacher stayed late to help you. You were far from home and afraid, but your mother phoned to comfort you. You were innocent and accused, so your friend stood to defend you. Covered with encouragement. Covered with tender-hearted care. Covered with protection. Covered with a cloak of love. ;Your finest cloak of love, however, came from God. Never thought of your Creator as a clothier? Adam and Eve did. ;Every clothing store in the world owes its existence to Adam and Eve. Ironing boards, closets, hangers-all trace their ancestry back to the Garden of Eden. Before Adam and Eve sinned, they needed no clothing; after they sinned, they couldn't get dressed fast enough. They hid in the bushes and set about the task of making a wardrobe out of fig leaves. ;They craved protection. Well they should have. They knew the consequences of their mistake. God had warned them, "You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. You must not even touch it, or you will die" (Gen. 3:3). ;Of course the one tree they were told not to touch was the one they couldn't resist, and the fruit of the tree became a doorknob that, once pulled, permitted a slew of unwanted consequences to enter. ;One of which was shame. Adam and Eve had felt no shame. Then they felt nothing but. Hence they hid, andLucado, Max is the author of 'Love Worth Giving Living in the Overflow of God's Love', published 2006 under ISBN 9780849913464 and ISBN 0849913462.