This week the following verses (6:4-5), from the beginning of the week, struck me:
You are beautiful, my darling, as Tirzah,
lovely as Jerusalem,
majestic as troops with banners.
Turn your eyes from me;
they overwhelm me.
The shepherd lover compares his love to two royals cities, decked out either with the heavenly hosts or a military march, and then says this:
Turn your eyes from me; they overwhelm me.
What is this? Nothing short of the overwhelming power of a sacred love. She is his and he is hers. They are made for one another. He finds her love so powerful and her beauty so powerful that he is devastated, overwhelmed, collapsed from the inside out — in short, she evokes the experience of encountering God.
Might I suggest that this kind of experience of the one we love does not happen accidentally. It is the result of faithfulness, devotion, steady communication, heart-felt intimacies, and purity. It can’t be manufactured in order to manipulate; it can’t be excited by a good decision — it comes after time from the routine commitment of spending time with one another, knowing one another, and dedicating one’s heart to the other person. In short, it is nurtured in the garden of love.