Friday, 23 March 2012

Lover and Beloved

Recently my husband has been reading sections of the Bible and sharing his thoughts about what he's reading with me. It's one of my favourite things about our relationships. Lots of couples fall in love and then struggle to find a way to make faith work within the relationship. Everyone's relationship with God is different, and sometimes when we meet we're in different places in our relationship with God. One of the greatest blessings in our marriage (besides our abundance of adorable children. Seriously, I'm not just saying that. They gorgeous) is that when we met, we were seeking a way to give our lives entirely to God. As I posted earlier we had both joined the same religious community with the plan to become a monk and a nun. After we left the community and got married, we still had the same underlying hope for the course of our lives: to seek to do the will of God, to love Him and to share His love with others. I feel blessed that in all of the discussions about our lives that we had before we got married, God was never a question, but instead always a foundation. When we got pregnant the first time, the only real discussion we had about Baptism was who should be the godparents, not if we should have our baby baptised.

There have been times when we've been more and less good at accomplishing the lofty goal of living entirely for the glory of God. Sometimes having four kids makes it very hard to take the time to quiet ourselves to hear God's voice. As always, I find my wonderful husband leads the way. His work requires a lot of dedication and thoroughness, but somehow while creating beautiful cabinetry and furniture, he finds a way to use the silence as an opportunity to listen to the still small voice, and also to pray. I often will get little emails throughout the day about these quiet moments. They inspire me and make me want to take an extra moment while I'm completing a task to give thanks to God for all the blessings in my life. I'm usually interrupted from my thoughts by one of those little blessings chirping for something, but that's the reality of having four small children.

When they're in bed at night, we often find ourselves reflecting on the path God is taking us on, and the beauty of the faith we've inherited. Lately we've been talking a bit about the Song of Solomon (or the Song of Songs). Literally it's a poem of love written by Solomon about his bride, but it can also be read as God's love for his creations. Christ is the lover and we are the beloved. We see in the words of Solomon the love story of the ages, the love that leads to God sending His only Son for our Salvation. After my husband read the Song of Songs he found himself reading the words of Psalm 22. The Psalms were written by King David, the father of Solomon. In  Psalm 22, we hear a familiar story. We hear the story of the Crucifixion, and even the words of Christ, suffering on the cross. Somehow reading about the suffering of the Messiah right after reading the Song of Songs gives perfect context to the words "Why have you forsaken me?". Christ took on all of the suffering and torture of the crucifixion for the sake of His beloved. He emptied Himself of all his Godliness because His love was greater than all the sin, sadness and hate in the world. Even though we were full of sin, Christ, always the lover, still saw us as we were intended, the beautiful Bride, and poured out His blood so we could be made clean again.

Perfectly, Psalm 22 is followed by the most famous of the Psalms. The imagery of Psalm 23 is the image of Heaven. "The Lord's my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes lie in pastures green." After the suffering is done, follows the peace of Heaven. As Easter rapidly approaches, I find it fitting that God has led my husband and I to these three passages in the Bible. In all the drama and distraction of our lives, a gentle reminder that God loves us, gave everything for us, and has a plan for our good gives me the desire to keep trusting in Him. Suffering is but a moment, but at the end of all days, He will carry His bride over the threshold of her new heavenly home.

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