Song of Solomon steams. Beloved enjoys the pleasures of being the singled out and pursued by her lover as well as the ecstasy and agony of being in love. Intimacy is a dance of expectation, anticipation and fulfillment…a losing and finding oneself…the fear of drawing near to something dangerous and consuming only to find wonder and joy. To read Song of Solomon is to witness the sensual nature of love.
Abandon ambivalence when reading these lines. Delight in the unfolding of an epic love story. Time stands still. There’s no scattered rushing about. Love is all consuming and its intricacies are savored with poetic metaphor. Beloved and Lover behold each other’s attributes. Beloved names her own beauty, “I am the rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys (2:2).” And the couple affirms the passion and solidity of their relationship, “and our bed is verdant. The beams of our house are cedars; our rafters are firs. (1:16-17).”
Song of Solomon can be an invitation from God to appreciate the loves of my life: God, husband, family and friends. It has me asking myself questions. Do I take time for my most important relationships to grow and flourish or do I try to force them onto my to-do list (it’s the old quality versus quantity time debate)? Do I savor and wonder at the beauty of God, my husband, friends and family? Or do I race right by them on a high speed freeway I call life? Do I recognize my own beauty as the redeemed beloved of God? Do I brush aside compliments and affection in vain attempts to build defensive walls of self pride that keep me from admitting vulnerability and my need for love?
It’s the grace of God that draws my soul towards him, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It the through his goodness that he has made me Jim’s wife; it’s through his further extravagance that he has provided family and friends. I pray that he keeps me from taking Him and others for granted and that my heart is eager to dwell on the riches of his love.
From the archives. Originally published June 19, 2015.