“Behold, you are beautiful, my love;
behold, you are beautiful;
your eyes are doves...
“As a lily among brambles,
so is my love among the young women.
“As an apple tree among the trees of the forest,
so is my beloved among the young men.
With great delight I sat in his shadow,
and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
He brought me to the banqueting house,
and his banner over me was love…
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
until it pleases.
“The voice of my beloved!
Behold, he comes,
leaping over the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle
or a young stag.
Behold, there he stands
behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
looking through the lattice.
My beloved speaks and says to me:
‘Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away,
for behold, the winter is past;
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree ripens its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away.
O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
in the crannies of the cliff,
let me see your face,
let me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.
Catch the foxes for us,
the little foxes
that spoil the vineyards,
for our vineyards are in blossom.’
“My beloved is mine, and I am his.” Song of Songs 1:15; 2:2-4,7-16a
There is a power in pursuing love that cannot be denied, or resisted. When it once sets affection, captivation becomes consuming passion that is never fully quenched. The ongoing nature of love is inexplicable satisfaction that is never satisfied, because it is infinite and eternal. We cannot help but love in return.
Such is Christ’s love that both constrains and frees us. It meets and satiates our deepest longings, and compels us to want more of Him. It arrests our senses with delight and fills our world with beauty, dimension, color, and fragrance, and loosens our lips to sing. It settles us under its banner of blessing and favor, and sets us to run in joy, and free. It seats us at its banquet table and nourishes with richest fare, and sends us to feed others. It holds us fast and stirs us to embrace others in its life-giving warmth. (Psalm 23:1-3,5; 2 Corinthians 5:14-19)
How lavishly do we return our Savior’s love? And how are we loving others in His name and character?
“O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
O Light that follow’st all my way,
I yield my flick’ring torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in Thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.” ~George Matheson (1882)
Gracious Lord who infinitely loves me, perfect my love for You and for those around me, that they are drawn to love Thee too.