Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thorns and Briars

“I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust,” Psalm 91:2.  The terrain is hostile.  It is owned and operated by enemies.  But He, the Prince of Peace, wanders the territory freely.  And He speaks…
“The voice of my beloved!  Behold, he comes, leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills.  My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.  Behold, there he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, looking through the lattice.  My beloved speaks and says to me: ‘Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away…” Song of Songs 2:8-10.  The Shullamite free falls into the words of Her Beloved…. .and she is transformed!
All of us, each and every one, live inside the conforming pressures of this present world.  Our hearts and minds, our thoughts and feelings, our decisions and desires are deeply affected by our ancestral lineage, our peers, our environments, our education and so on.  Thorns and briars.  They own and operate the territories of this present world.  They often leave their mark; sometimes shallow, sometimes deep.  Nonetheless, we are affected.  Had Our Beloved come to us and examined all the marks, carefully deciding our fate based upon the magnitude of their intrusion, not one of us would pass into eternal places.  But that isn’t the way the story is told.  The story tells us that the Maiden was dysfunctional but He spoke to Her as though She were a functional one.  It tells us that the Maiden was undesirable but He spoke to Her as though She were a desirable one.  It tells us that the Maiden was physically unattractive but He spoke to Her as though She were a beautiful one.  And as the story continues, it also tells us that She chose to take refuge in those words.
This is good news.  I have a place to run to.  I have a hiding place in the words of One who looks for me, desires me and is entranced by the sight of me.  This is my refuge, my fortress, my God in whom I trust.  I trust these words not the message of the thorns and briars.  I am not conformed by the pressures of this present world, but I am transformed by the good word He speaks to me.  
All of my companions in this life, all of the humans of Earth that I will meet, need this message.  This good word on the inside.  This Beloved that transforms me.  

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