When I was a little girl the neighbour asked my family if we would take care of their dog Sammy whilst they were away for the weekend. My Mother agreed and quickly assigned my three siblings and me to the task, hoping it would help teach us about responsibility and being a good neighbour.

But as soon as the neighbors pulled out of their driveway and disappeared down the front street it became clear we had a problem.

Sammy was so unsettled about his family’s departure that he refused to leave their front porch. He lay with his back pressed tightly up against the front door, so he could look outwards to the driveway and street. 

He spent the entire weekend sitting on that porch. Quietly. Patiently. Waiting.

And while he may have dozed as he waited, there was a sense he was fully alert and ever watchful.

Anticipating their return. Determined to be right there, ready to welcome them home. 

We certainly tried everything to entice him off that porch. We encouraged him to come play fetch by throwing a ball on the front lawn. We dangled his leash, inviting him to come on a walk. We lay on the grass, rolling around, calling him, tempting him to come play and wrestle.

He refused. And stayed at his post. A faithful sentinel; a steadfast, loyal companion.

Accepting defeat, we eventually gave up trying to coax him to come off the porch. 

His loyalty still resonates with me all these years later.  Especially where in today’s fast-paced, quickly changing world it seems focus and affections can easily waver by being tempted elsewhere. Quickly moving on to the next best thing.

Thousands of years ago, David wrote about this very thing in Psalm 12:1-2. ” Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. Everyone lies to their neighbour;  they flatter with their lips but harbour deception in their hearts.”

This cry, echoed in Proverbs 20:6, “Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?”, continues to reverberate through the centuries.

Yet, there is One who is truly reliable. 

One who is eternally faithful.

Assured that, “Yahweh your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His gracious covenant loyalty for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commands (Deuteronomy 7:9).

How comforting it is to know that there is One who remains steadfast. A most loyal Companion who patiently waits.

Ready to greet us. And welcome us home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credits: Hans Veth and Max Sandelin, from Unsplash

FIve Minute Friday Prompt: Loyal

 

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