“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:
3A: Song of Songs 3.1-5 Love and Power
1. Upon my bed at night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not; I called him, but he gave no answer. 2. “I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves.” I sought him, but found him not. 3. The sentinels found me, as they went about the city, ”Have you seen him whom my soul loves?” 4. Scarcely had I passed them, when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him, and would not let him go until I brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me. 5. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the wild does: do not stir up or awaken love until it is ready!
Advent teaches us about the nature of love. We learn that love and soul mating is far more about a long faithful search than it is about an entitled scramble for fulfillment.
Love today finds itself in danger. Every message around us tempts us to stir up climatic intimacy before it is ready. The season of engagement for many couples, like the two in our Song, often evokes our worst fears. What if I loose the flame of passion for this person? What if I never had it in the first place? We have forgotten that deep passion is often about a long and faithful search.
When the Magi found that for which they were searching, they worshipped the child. Yet theirs was and ours is a journey that takes us over treacherous terrain and requires faithful endurance. Herod wanted to find Him quickly, leeching off the hard work of the Magi. Perhaps he thought he wanted to adore the child, yet his true intention was ultimately revealed as power. I know many men who confuse adoration and power in their love life. Much of the Human Trafficking industry, which enslaves up to 27 million persons, bases itself on this confusion.
We all want to find a soul mate on this earth, but we will never arrive there without a treacherous journey of faithfulness. Like the Magi, our journey of love must never be derailed when our partner fails to meet our often-bloated expectations of passion. There are times, especially in cases of domestic power and abuse, when some need to escape their situation by another route (not into the arms another), but into the hands of a Saviour. Yet all dramas of great love travel through a cave of darkness. We enter a long hope for the transformation of that broken person, that Soul Mate, which most of us already have our fingertips.