“The voice of my beloved!
Look, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Look, there he stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice.”
(Song of Solomon 2:8-9)
It is said, by whom originally I do not know, that marriage is the template for our relationship with God; that is, knowing the Other completely and intimately such that the two are like one. That does not in my opinion, beloved reader, give much credence and support to marriage being for/between male and female only. But it is not my purpose here to pick up that argument.
My purpose for telling you that is to give support to the Song of Solomon being read and accepted as a love poem between Lover and Beloved, and assorted “Friends.” It is the source too of my using “beloved” as a greeting and salutation when I write. There is in the Song of Solomon the one who is be-loved and the one who loves. Gender, while implied in some places, is not firm. (Hmm, maybe I am picking up that “argument” anyway.)
That God loves is without and beyond question. So too is the fact that we are be-loved. But we also love God, and God is be-loved by us. And if the most convenient format and template to talk about that love is as between two human lovers, then let us not rush to place some “biblical commentary” grid or understanding on it.
God and God’s Spirit calls to all of us in and with love. Would we but hear that call and heed it, forming and conforming our lives to it; and then extending that love to others.
“My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
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.”
Come to God, beloved reader! Selah!