Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3
We were in Atlanta a short time ago visiting our daughter and her family. We love going to see our three growing-up-way-too-fast grandchildren and their parents. Atlanta is a fun place to visit as it has loads of things to do and lots of pleasing restaurants and cafés to try.
During our most recent visit, I experienced a new treat, yeasted pancakes- oh my! It may be that the pancakes tasted so good since it had been a year or more since I had tasted syrup, or it may have been the way the generously sized pancakes were prepared in a little bit of oil, which made their outer layer a bit crispy. But whatever it was, they were delightful, and the mere thought of them as I write is calling me to return to the little café for another stack.
Of course, Covid-19 still dominates our lives, and that makes even restaurant going a bit less than relaxing. Wearing a mask when entering and leaving the restaurant and sitting a bit further apart than usual still keeps everything feeling a bit off-kilter.
That afternoon after enjoying those yeasted pancakes, my two young granddaughters, Kate and Anna, got off the school bus; they had their masks on. They were quite happy to discard them as quickly as possible as they got away from the bus. They both pulled the mask off their ears and just let them drop, but they didn’t fall onto the ground. Each girl had a lanyard around her neck, with the mask attached so it would keep from free-falling onto the ground. What a brilliant idea! To make sure each child at the school had their own mask throughout the day, they wore it attached around their neck. No child could lose their mask as long as it stayed attached to the lanyard. No child could wear someone else’s mask. No child could forget where they put their mask; they only had to look down and see their mask hanging in front of them. Their mask was always available and ready to be used.
In Proverbs 3:3, we read, Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
Why did Solomon write these words? Why did he want us to bind love and faithfulness around our neck? Maybe Solomon wanted us to remember the importance of living our lives with love and faithfulness, always leading us, guiding our way. Perhaps Solomon wanted us, at a moment’s notice, to be able to put on love and faithfulness regardless of what our situation might be. Or maybe he wanted love and faithfulness to become part of our very nature, imprinted on our hearts and always visible around our neck.
Whatever the reason Solomon wrote these words, we can rest assured that Solomon thought that love and faithfulness would be needed to live a fruitful Christian life. These two qualities would be required daily. Just like Kate and Anna could find their mask at a moment’s notice, we must be able to find and put on faithfulness and love. Having them figuratively hang around our neck will keep them ever close and ever ready.