The first book of Scripture to capture my heart--rather than my head--was the Song of Songs. In college, with the usual glee of the naughtily orthodox co-ed, I loved to insist to the Muslim student downstairs that the Christian Bible contained erotic poetry. And it does.
The last few days of Advent remind me of the Song of Songs--the intense longing and waiting for "I-know-not-what." (Those blessed enough to have been virgin brides know what I mean.) That physical longing for something as yet unseen is the visible side of our hearts' deepest longing for our Creator--an experience to ponder in our hearts as we wait for Christ and, ultimately, for heaven.
So, I was delighted to open up my copy of First Things to find this poem. What every husband wishes he could write for his wife--a beautiful interplay of the days waiting for marriage and the days waiting for heaven-with-her.
Ghazal to the One
Sun's bliss, leaf shadows, a honeyed breeze--
The world as he would have it be for you,
Your faithful, humble, and obedient servant,
One who has no other goddess before you.
The Name, the Guest, the Beloved are all one,
And he, vouchsafed that vision once, bows down before you.
The blessing of friends, the gratitude of children,
The work of your hands--a table spread before you.
A fantasy he blushes to mention: the desire
to rearrange time since and time before you.
Another not so foolish--he'll wait for you
When he reaches that riverbank, as he supposes, before you.