Was she dreaming or awake? Apparently, there is something about the text that has led scholars to believe Shulamith was dreaming of missing her man. Whether dreaming or awake, her intense love for Solomon is sure. She was missing him something fierce. Have you ever been separated from the one you love?
Our daughter was separated for nearly two years from the man she was dating when she lived in Africa and he was in California going to seminary. I am sure she had some nights laying in bed dreaming of the day when they would be back together again. Long distance relationships can be hard. Shulamith would likely endure many nights after their wedding when the king would be away on “kingly” business.
When we have times apart, it’s also pretty common to let fear creep in. Have you ever let worrisome thoughts overtake you? In those times, it’s like all reason and logic evaporate. Our minds can begin to conjure up all sorts of bad things that “might” happen. When you get caught in that kind of cycle, there is no sleeping or dreaming going on.
If that’s what happened to Shulamith, she was up on her feet, ready to find her man. She would use her best detective skills to figure out where he might be. She had worked herself into a frenzy. When she finally finds him, she clings to him willing him to never leave her again. Her relief overcomes her. It’s in those moments you don’t know whether to be mad that they were lost or overjoyed that they were found.
Immediately, Shulamith whisks Solomon away to her mother’s bedroom. Likely this represents a place of safety for her. As a young child, she would have cuddled up with her mother when fears of the world were crashing in on her innocence. How fitting she would retreat to a place that was familiar and brought security.
It would be easy for the couple to rush into things at the wrong time. So, we again see the same cautionary words we saw a reading or two ago. “Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.” Saving your love for the right moment is important to God. This was a good reminder to the young couple in love as well as to all young couples waiting for their wedding day. Waiting can be hard. Yet distance may indeed make the heart grow fonder.
Think about this. When we find ourselves far from God, do we have that same hunger or desire for his presence? In this case, it’s not because God is lost, it’s because we are. We have a longing to be in a relationship with God and to have times of intimate sharing. It’s with God that we can truly be ourselves. To be anything else would be ludicrous because God made us, and he knows us better than we know ourselves.
Take some time today to search for God. How can you rekindle your relationship with him?
Let’s pray … Lord, I thank you that you are always close and never leave me. Forgive for the times that I have strayed from you. I thank you for the lessons I have learned from spreading my wings. But I much more prefer the safety and security I find in the shadow of your wings. Comfort me and shield me from the evil of this world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.