Advent Reflections from a Young Married Man: The Gazelle

“In the coming weeks, I will post seventeen short Advent reflections on the Song of Songs from a young man learning to be a lover and a husband, who at the same time struggles to plant his worth as the beloved Bride of Christ.  My guiding question:

How does the birth of God’s Son transform the broken projects of struggling lovers into aspirations for soul mating?

Click here to read the general introduction:

2B: Song of Songs 2.8-17              The Gazelle

8. The voice of my beloved!
Look, he comes,
leaping upon the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
9. My beloved is like a gazelle
or a young stag.
Look, there he stands
Behind our wall,
gazing in at the windows,
looking though the lattice.
10. My beloved speaks and says
to me:
”Arise my love, my fair one,
and come away;
11. for now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
12. The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
13. The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away.
14. O my dove, in the clefts of the
let me see your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely,
15. Catch us the foxes,
the little foxes,
that ruin the vineyards
for our vineyards are in
16. My beloved is mine and I am his;
he pastures his flock among the
17. Until the day breathes
and the shadows flee,
turn, my beloved, be like a gazelle
or a young stag on the cleft

There are two eyes, which watch us through the lattice of our lives.  They belong to a Creator who remembers clearly when life began— when the shaping of gazelle, winter, rain, and flowers set coldly at His hand.  It was then that he imagined us, his beloved. It was then, before he knit us together uniquely in our mother’s womb.

And from that ancient time, He has been whispering to our souls: “Come from your rocky crags that protect you from light places.  Come from those walls, which you use to preservation your fragile life.  These are no more than obstacles to your deepest and most fulfilling destiny.  Do not hide your face beloved, for I made it, and it is sweet,” he calls.

We are so often skeptical that a God, by divine nature, will diminish us.  For gods, we think, take away our precious dreams and most precious projects.  Yet, for all our cunning we fail to see that we often stand in the way of our best futures.  Obstacles pile upon obstacles as we muddy the already veiled future. Herod did this when he heard of a baby King to be born in a humble village.  He sent his force to extinguish this child, who so threatened his kingdom of sand.

Mary’s life project was set to be ruined by this child.  Yet, unlike Herod, she got it right about God,

“His name is Holy; his mercy sure from generation to generation toward those who fear him; the deeds his own right arm has revealed his might: the arrogant of heart and mind he has put to route, he has brought down the monarchs from their thrones, but the humble have been lifted high. The hungry he has satisfied with good things, the rich sent empty away.”

Advent reminds us that the surest path to our own transformation passes through the canyons of our lives. Alone we would surely starve among the rocky crags of our own and other’s making. Yet when we abandon ourselves to the One who is also a gazelle leaping over our mountains of obstacles bounding over the hills of our protection, we have a chance in life.  There he stands on the cleft mountains calling forth our glory from behind the latticework.