We, as women, want to be loved; and when we want to be loved we don’t want to just be sitting in a room alone thinking, hmmm I am definitely feeling the love today. We have to see that love, we have to feel that love, we want to be a part of that love. Well, the woman in this verse just wants to be with her lover as well. Shepherd was commonly used as a word for Kings, so the woman just wants to be with her lover, she is referring to the King, Our King. We, besides in our physical lives, we want to be loved by The King too. And have no fear because he loves you! He doesn’t want us wandering away, trying out different things in hopes that we will find that companionship and love elsewhere, he wants us to find rest in Him.
I will be the first to admit, that I have struggled with my faith. I graduated from Franciscan University with a high like none other for Christ. Then I experienced a huge loss, got married, moved across country, started a new job and got pregnant. I went from being on top of the mountain with my faith, feeling like all I could do was go up with it, and found myself slowly tumbling down because of the grief, busyness and craziness. I found myself trying to find my grasp, and when I finally got myself to stop, I found that when I looked up I wasn’t the only person making this climb. I saw many people around me, I saw many people struggling with the same things as me, and I saw many people ahead of me. But all those tracks led to the same place. We were all making the same journey, many different. But when I felt lost and like I couldn’t get a hold of things, I just had to take a break, learn from those around me, and let them help me up the mountain a bit. Because ultimately, our goals were the same: to get to the top to be with the Lord.
Often, when we hear the word ‘friend’, it has a dual meaning. There's the type of friend that, when regarding love, we are put in the ‘friend zone’; which is never a good thing. Or when we hear ‘friend’ it is a true word of endearment that you are one’s friend. This is someone we can share everything with, someone you love dearly, someone you can trust your life with. Obviously, the Lord is not putting us in the friend zone, but is talking to us with a tone of endearment. He loves us so much, He wants us to trust Him, He wants us to love him, He wants us to tell Him everything, He wants us to trust our lives in His hands.
While the king was upon his couch, my spikenard* gave forth its fragrance. My lover* is to me a sachet of myrrh; between my breasts he lies. My lover is to me a cluster of henna* from the vineyards of En-gedi. How beautiful you are, my friend, how beautiful! your eyes are doves!* How beautiful you are, my lover—handsome indeed! Verdant indeed is our couch;* the beams of our house are cedars, our rafters, cypresses.
This may be my favorite part of the first chapter. Have you ever heard the saying, “Love will build a home”? Well, our love with the Lord will not alone build a home in our heart for him, but helps keep the foundation of our Church strong. We need to make our hearts a home for the Lord, so it is the place that is reserved for each other. A place where we can go to fall more in love with Him, and a place for Him to share his love with us, a safe place where we relay everything to him and trust him, a place where we tell him everything.
So, here I challenge you. Is your heart a home with the door open to the Lord so that he can love you? Or have you made the house in your heart just for you? If it’s the second, look around, there may be someone in the same boat close by. Get up and challenge yourself to start making the climb again. Start making the hike and bask in the beauty on the way.