I saw two lovers in the park, sitting by a pond.
He leaned in to kiss her, and when she saw my approach, she pulled away and blushed, embarrassed to be discovered with her love.
I smiled, as I saw myself in her.
God is taking me through a journey showing me so much about love, human expression of love, and His love for me. I have thought a lot about the parallels of the intimacy between a man and a woman, and the intimacy we are to have with God.
The Bible shows us in the Song of Solomon a very intimate picture of two lovers. Here as we read the sensual experience between the Shulamite and her beloved, we see a yearning desire to be together and experience each other in the most intimate ways. One might ask how such a sensual book becomes a part of the Holy scriptures? What does God want us to learn from these two lovers?
Think about your own human experiences with falling in love and being married. Does anything you have experienced in human relationships compare to those portrayed in Song of Solomon? This book is a part of the Bible for a reason. Great Scholars and mystics know the spiritual experience we have with the infilling of the Holy Spirit is akin to the deeply intimate physical experience of a man and a woman in love.
God pursues us, longing to bring us to a place where we are lain bare, vulnerable, true and honest with Him. No pretense. It is in this place we press in, coming closer to Him, closer to His Heart. This intimate experience with God both soothes and ignites a deep yearning to know Him more. Differing from the human experience, one is never left feeling diminished or insecure about His intentions.
The language in Song of Solomon, rich with images of two young lovers, stir the heart and senses.
Here are a few of my favorites…
Song of Solomon 2:4-6 NKJV
He brought me to the banqueting house, And his banner over me was love. Sustain me with cakes of raisins, Refresh me with apples, For I am lovesick. His left hand is under my head, And his right hand embraces me.
Have you ever felt this love sickness wash over you as you worship the Lord? The deep longing for more of His presence and the desire to sustain this feeling?
Song of Solomon 8:6-7 NKJV
Set me as a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arm; For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; Its flames are flames of fire, A most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, Nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love All the wealth of his house, It would be utterly despised.
Here I recognize the intensity and single minded focus on the state of love, state of worship to our Lord…begging to be marked forever, sealed to the One you love. God’s love for us burns eternal and is not quenched.
I cannot say that I have personally experienced falling in love with someone, though I am deeply in love with God, with Jesus. I relate very much with the feelings expressed in the Song of Solomon as it relates to the times I spend worshiping our Lord.
My experiences with human love have never taken me to a place where I felt outside of myself or deeply loved. I have loved people in my life. I loved a man and I was married for a time. There are many people in my life I have as close friends, and I respect them and love them dearly. But there is no intimate love.
I have always been embarrassed or ashamed of any feelings resembling romantic love. I feel incapable of getting outside of my head and listening to my heart’s voice. I analyze every aspect of starting a relationship with someone. There is always a point of elimination, convincing myself it would never work.
God has been challenging me for the past six months or more to really look at these feelings and actions. I question whether my relationship with God also mimics this behavior. Being overly cautious in taking those steps forward and acting like a person who is head-over-heels and madly in love with the One who is a lover of my soul.
I see this in my reluctance to witness to people about the relationship I have with God, reasoning it is private and personal. This is despite what His word tells me, and I know His heart is leading me to do: Step out of my comfort zone and tell people about all I’ve experienced with Him, how great His love is, and share the things God is revealing about the person who’s in front of me.
I wrote the poem at the beginning of this article several months ago. I think how I look like the young girl pulling away, embarrassed by her love. It is how I appear to God when I am faced with an opportunity to lean in and share God’s great love. He is so patient, loving, and kind. I feel Him coaxing me to trust and let go, to fall deeper in love with Him. Everything I was created for and how I am to walk in the world will be fulfilled when I let go.