Monday, February 10, 2014

Only One Thing Week 6: Song of Solomon 1:1-3

Picture it: June 2003. Mike and I are just a couple months from marriage and we are sitting in the minister's office.

He looks like every middle-aged Presbyterian minister: glasses, short hair cut, dockers, brown loafers. 

It is the Presbyterian equivalent of a priest’s collar.

Anyway, it is about 400 degrees outside--but in our Pastor’s office it is freezing cold and the window air conditioner is blasting.

The pastor asks us something about sex.

(I’ve already resolved not to answer any of his sex questions. It is simply too horrifying.)

Then, before either one of us can answer in a vague, non-embarrassing way, the pastor begins reading from Song of Songs. 

He reads for a while. He sounds impassioned. I just want to leave. Perhaps get married in a court house. 

Mike falls asleep (abandoning me. typical.) 

I am transfixed on some shiny object (also typical. perhaps this was my first interlude with meditation.)

Then the pastor stops all his sexy bible reading and says:

“Now I am panting.”

He reads more. I consider jumping out the window. Mike is unresponsive. 

And then, from the minister: “Song of Solomon is hot.”

I blocked the rest of the conversation out (it included a discussion of gynecological care in Lebanon).   Which brings me to this week’s (sexy, just kidding, sort of) scripture:

Song of Solomon 1: 1-3

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine, your anointing oils are fragrant, your name is perfume poured out.”

Not that I know much about theology, but the Song of Solomon (also known as the Song of Songs) is often thought of a love song between God and his “bride,” humankind (Which I think is slightly creepy and no amount of academic training will change my mind.). 

What isn’t creepy is this notion of love so intense that our spirits soar and our senses cry with joy.  Love is better than wine (and trust me, I really enjoy wine). 

God created us in his image. He created our bodies to feel pain and pleasure. He gave us the capacity for love--both emotional and physical. And since our God is a God of love, I think that God wants us to enjoy and celebrate that love that is like perfume poured out. 

Of course, once you have a mortgage, 3 children, a dog, a million jobs/commitments/responsibilities, you can quickly forget what perfume smells like. (Since everything faintly smells like a heady mix of sour milk/febreeze.) It is easy to remember to say I love you; but it is harder to remember what that overtop, heady love feels like.  

This week, I am going to remember what that deep, insatiable love feels like  and I suggest you do too. There is no better Valentine in the world than to be so deeply in love that you walk around feeling slightly drunk and smelling only roses. 

(That all came out wrong.)

But, you get the drift.  Whether you've been married 10 years or 10 months or 40 years or 40 minutes, it is easy to forget what that deep, crazy love feels like. Write a love note. Stare into each other’s eyes. You don’t need to fall in love again--you just need to remember the hot, steamy Song of Solomon. 

P.S. Bonus points if you opt to read Song of Solomon to your spouse/mate/partner/harem. 

Wonder what you've stumbled upon? Catch up on Only One Thing, the Bible Study for Bad Christians  here.

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