My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo. 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…My beloved is mine and I am his.
Song of Solomon 2:10-12,16
Prayer is intimacy with God. Our Maker, our God, seeks intimacy with us. Intimacy grows in the soil of respectful relationships. Intimacy requires a sense of emotional and spiritual safety that is mutual between the parties involved. It is the sense of trust that one will be met with acceptance, grace and love that opens the possibility for an ever deepening transparency with each other.
The experience of intimacy is the experience of deeply knowing and of being deeply known. It is the experience of being emotionally and spiritually (and sometimes physically) naked and unashamed with each other. Intimacy is a mutual loving that is tender, strong and enduring.
This text from Scripture comes from a book of love poems. The Song of Solomon is a series of poems that express the longing, the passion, the tenderness of an intimate relationship. This book honors the beauty and vulnerability of human intimacy and offers a picture of the intimacy that is possible with God.
Intimacy with God becomes possible as we let go of our pretense, of our self-reliance, of our efforts to hide. It becomes possible as we become naked and unashamed before God.
But even in this, God takes the lead. God became vulnerable in Jesus. God, in Jesus, come to us as a baby, weak and dependent. God, in Jesus, lived and laughed and wept and was tempted. God, in Jesus, openly expressed longing and love for each and every one of us. God, in Jesus, was literally stripped naked before the world.
As we begin to experience the reality of God’s vulnerable availability to us, we grow in our freedom to give ourselves to God. We learn more and more to surrender in love to the One who is Love.
This giving of oneself and one’s heart to God, as a response to receiving the Self and heart of God, is the intimacy to which prayer leads. It is the intimacy of knowing ourselves to be God’s beloved. And of knowing God as our true Beloved.
It is the pure joy of being able to hear God’s tender voice calling to us, ““Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
You are my Beloved
and I am yours.
You call me your love,
your fair one.
You give your self to me,
your heart to me.
I give my self,
my heart to you.
being loved by you
is true joy.
Taking a few slow, easy breaths. Let yourself sense the Light of God ‘s love surrounding you. Let yourself sense the tender, vulnerable love of God toward you. As you are able, let go of all pretense and be vulnerable with God. Share your heart with God. Let God share God’s heart with you.