Oh, look at this blog. One of the many projects I started with passion and zeal, convinced that this time I’d follow through!
Well, I didn’t, but I’d like a blog to post my thoughts about the Bible, and I’m back. I’m pretty sure no one even knows this place exists, but getting my thoughts out into words helps me understand them.
I usually go to my congregation on Saturdays. I’m in a weird place with my congregation. I enjoy going and seeing everyone, but I usually get very tired during it to the point of trying to stay awake and I don’t often leave feeling refreshed or encouraged because I’ve spent a few hours in the word. I’m trying to get to the root of this, and how to fix it. Do I need to change my attitude? Do I need to reach out more so I feel more included? Should I explore new places? I’m not sure, but it held me back from going today and it threw off my whole day.
I came home after a trip to the library, knowing I needed to read my bible today. So, I read Song of Songs. And wow. These are the verses that really stuck out to me:
My darling speaks; he is saying to me,
‘Get up my love! My beauty! Come away!
For you see that the winter has passed,
the rain is finished and gone,
the flowers are appearing in the countryside,
the time has come for the birds to sing.
and the cooing of doves can be heard in the land.
The fig trees are forming their unripe figs,
and the grapevines in bloom give out their perfume.
Get up, my love, my beauty!
Now, this passage gives me mixed emotions. I am a person who sways. I wander. This blog is one of the many examples. I have never lived in a city for more than five years. I hear this call to come away and I think, ‘Yes! Okay! Where are we going? What’s next? I need something new.’
But logically, I know this isn’t what God is saying to me. Me wanting that reveals more about me than it does about God’s will for me. He’s not saying, ‘Time to move on.’ He’s not calling me to a different physical place or setting. He’s calling me to a different spiritual place. He’s going to lead me into a place of growth and light.
Come away from the darkness. Come away from waiting on other people. Come to me.
It’s time. Get up! Come away! The spring has come, the winter is past. Nature is waking up, and it’s time to come out.
Don’t hide anymore.
I am asleep, but my heart is awake.
Ugh, this is me. At time, I feel lethargic, frozen, held back — asleep. Yet I know in my heart of hearts, I should be doing something. I should be moving. I should be changing. This resonated with me.
How does the man you love differ from any other,
you most beautiful of woman?
How does the man you love differ from any other,
that you should give us this charge? [To tell him that she is sick with love]
Well, let me tell you how this love is different. He’s everlasting. His love never fails. He suffered and died for me. He is beautiful. He sees me as beautiful. He is different from every other, he is above any other. He’s everything.
You are as beautiful as Tirtzah, my love,
as lovely as Yerushalyim,
but formidable as an army marching under banners.
Turn your eyes away from me,
because they overwhelm me!
‘Who is this, shining forth like the dawn,
fair as the moon, bright as the sun’ —
but formidable as an army marching under banners?
I LOVE THIS. This is “He” talking to “She”. He sees her as beautiful, lovely, radiant — but she is also formidable. She’s strong. She’s overwhelming. Our culture often sees the Bible’s Ancient Near East culture and sees sexism and patriarchy. While those are no doubt present at times, there is also a respect and love for all people — and times like this, when a woman is seen as beautiful, but also strong.
This is a metaphor, of course, for us, the bride of our Messiah. We can be pure as snow, dressed in white, cleansed by his blood, but we are also a force to be reckoned with. I think one way this can come true is by being a force for good and for love in this world. We can fight against the greed, the injustice, and the cruelty of the world. Elsewhere in this book it says, his banner over me is love (2:4). We can be an army marching under the banner of love.
Last but not least, one of my favorite passages from the Bible:
Set me like a seal on your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
passion as cruel as Sh’ol;
its flashes are flashes of fire,
as fierce as the flame of God.
No amount of water can quench love,
torrents cannot drown it.
This speaks to me on many levels. For my earthly relationships, I cling to this promise: no amount of water can quench the fire of love. Love, true love, can overcome so many obstacles and help us with so many struggles. I need this promise, this assurance, that love will persevere.
Also, this is my prayer to my love, my Messiah:
Set me like a seal on your heart, like a seal on your arm. I need my name on your heart. I need my fate to be sealed with yours. I need our hearts to be entwined. I need your love, as strong as death and as passionate as Sh’ol, to protect me, cover me, and overwhelm me. Nothing can quench your love for me. Help me believe it, help me feel it, and help it guide me through this life. And may I have the same love for you, an intense devotion and intimacy.