Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: Proverbs 7:2-4
Coming home from California last fall, I sat on the plane next to a close-knit Hispanic family including three sisters and several daughters/nieces. They laughed and cracked jokes about the supposed mountains the pilot hit when we got into a bit of turbulence. They got up in the middle of the flight to switch places, bought special snacks for each other, and shared everything. They didn’t have to explain to me the closeness they felt. I understood it. I could taste it. As I watched the teenage girls glancing over at their mothers who were unashamedly howling with laughter, it made me think of my sisters, and I drank it in!
I know what it is to have a sister. When I opened my eyes for the first time in 1971, I had five. Every sister I have would be thrilled if I called and said, “I’m on my way to your house right now.” They would make room for me—their couch, the spare room, anywhere. They would try to rescue me, love me, and even give me an extra kidney if they thought I needed it to survive.
I find it interesting that wisdom is likened to a sister and understanding to a kinswoman. I don’t know what the author had in mind, but to me it is taking some of my earliest, strongest ties and making a comparison.
When I was a student at God’s Bible School, there were no cell phones. If you wanted to talk to someone, you had to stand on the first floor in the hallway across from the office of the girls’ dorm and talk on a pay phone. Everyone on that campus that happened to pass could hear your most intimate conversation. I learned to speak in code to my sister. She was my kinswoman.
Years later, I would gather in the hospital room with the others in my family as one of my sisters lay dying, struggling for breath. Two of my other sisters standing there could hardly handle it. They admitted that they wanted to crawl up in the hospital bed with her and lie close like we did when we were young. We’re sisters! That’s what this wisdom is like!
It is to be bound around the table of our heart. This is not like a rope that squeezes your neck. No, this is like a warm scarf on a cold day. One that you pull up to your chest and hold the softness next to your neck and face. “Your commandments are not grievous, Lord! I pull them up to me as close as I can get them! I bind them about me. I even put them down in the strongest part of my heart!”
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. I John 5:3
This is an excerpt from the devotional,
The Lord's Dealings
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