In my home state of Ohio, winters can be described as wanting. I wish I could romanticize them into ivory winter wonderlands, but the truth is, the sun shines very little from October to April in the buckeye state. The whole mood is simply gray. The days are cold, but often not cold enough for snow, so the usual precipitation is a slushy, half-frozen rain that collects in massive sludge puddles lining parking lots and walkways. It is the type of weather for which lined rubber boots and oversized sweaters were made. Icy splashes to the ankle seem to somehow strike the core of one’s mood, holding the unintentional captive in negative thoughts. These winters are cold, wet, and gloomy.
It is from this sort of setting that I imagine Jesus calling to us in the Song of Songs:
“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… Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.’” // Song of Songs 2:10-11, 13-14
The Song of Songs is the only book in all of Scripture where God is never mentioned by name, yet in it, we see Him clearly. After all, God is Love, and this book is the ultimate love song. In both Judaism and Christianity, the traditional interpretation views God as the bridegroom singing to His bride, His people. The depth and tenderness of this love cannot come close to being rivaled—even by the greatest human love story.
God sees us experiencing the cold drudgery of this fallen world, and He calls us away, to a secluded place, in the clefts and coverts of our homes and churches. There is intimacy. There is warmth. There is a sense of belonging and being beloved that we will never find outside His arms. As we move through this week, may this be our focus: in God alone can we find fulfillment of our heart’s desires.
Closing Prayer //
The feeling of wanting is universal.
Grant that my heart and mind come to better know the truth;
It is only in You that I will find all I desire.
Grant me the receptivity and the courage to hear and believe in Your call,
And your own desire for my love. Amen.
Reflection Questions //
Examine your heart. Is it cold? Weary from life’s storms? Identify the “winter” from which He is calling you. Do you want to leave it behind?
Identify a “covert of a cliff” in which you find it easiest to be with God. Is it a physical place, or a type of moment? If you are unsure, look for a place or circumstance where it is easiest for you to feel alone with God.