Several years ago I found some books by Christy Barritt. The first series I read was called Squeaky Clean Mysteries. They are the perfect mix of suspense and hilarity. Barritt has written a handful of other series; her most recent is the Lantern Beach series. These books follow Seattle detective Cady Matthews who is forced off the grid. There is a price on her head from her undercover work. She killed a drug lord. His followers are out for revenge so she has to disappear.
She disappears to a small town in North Carolina where she takes on Cassidy Livingston for a name and owning an ice cream truck for an occupation. Cassidy has a complicated and sad past, one that doesn’t get less so with a new identity or residence. One of the few ties she has to life in Seattle and life before going undercover is a day-at-a-glance calendar from her deceased best friend. When Cassidy needs to bear up her resolve, she takes note of the day’s conventional wisdom and clings to it.
Characters have a way of coming to life and sticking with us. I thought about Cassidy’s day-at-a-glance calendar a few days ago when I was reading Proverbs. Strange connection, you might think. Let me explain.
The year-long reading plan I follow appoints two chapters of Proverbs each day for two weeks. I was reading chapter 20-something when I walked away for a moment, only to realize that I didn’t remember what I had just read. I tried to recall any sentence, but rich and poor, wise and foolish, righteous and wicked were all blurring together.
Reading Proverbs in big chunks is an exercise comparable to drinking from a fire hydrant. There is so much wisdom in each verse but it needs to be pondered and meditated on before it can truly take root. Reading more than a few verses at a time is a recipe for total overload, the kind where you walk away and don’t remember a thing of what you read.
Meditation does not happen quickly. Meditation is like a good marinade. For meat to be affected and changed, it has to sit in sauce for a long time. So it goes with meditating on the Proverbs. If anything is to be gleaned from the pages of wisdom, it is going to take time.
Cassidy Livingston looked to the cutesy advice found on a calendar. It might have made her feel better about herself and her situation for a few minutes, but it did nothing to change her heart and mold her life. The Holy Spirit works to change hearts through what we read in Scripture. The imagery of Proverbs might not always be familiar to our days and times, but the truth contained within is always relevant, always offering hope and help. There is wisdom for each day there, and that is what should be on a day-at-a-glance calendar.
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
— Proverbs 17:22