698.) Song of Solomon 3

I will get up now and go about the city; I will search for the one my heart loves.

Song of Solomon 3

(New International Version)


1 All night long on my bed
I looked for the one my heart loves;
I looked for him but did not find him.
2 I will get up now and go about the city,
through its streets and squares;
I will search for the one my heart loves.

LOVE IS . . . work.

Love is not passive.  Love is singing a duet, and that is work.  Joyful work, but work nonetheless.  Young lovers first fall in love passively, but if they are to stay in love they must actively work to keep it and grow it, like a seed that is first received into the ground but must then be tended and fertilized or it will die.  So the bride sings, “I sought him . . . I will rise now and go about the city . . . I will seek him whom my soul loves.”  Life is a quest for love and a quest for God.

Freud says that the two most basic needs everyone has are “love and work.”  That is a wise saying.  And these two are one, for if work is to be fulfilling, it must be a work of love, and if love is to live, it must be a work.  As Kierkegaard points out, love in Christianity is not a feeling, as it is for Romanticism; rather, “love is the works of love.”  That is why Christ can command love.  Only a fool tries to command a feeling.

The strangest thing about our work of love is that it is both work and rest, both weekday and sabbath.  Jesus made this clear when the Pharisees got angry at him for his work of healing on the sabbath.  His answer told them, in effect, that you could no more stop this work than you could stop the sun from shining, for it is the very life of the Father, which eternally reaches out from the sabbath of eternity into the work week of time, as he did at the Creation.  Jesus’ answer to them was:  “My Father is working still, and I am working” (John 5:17).  What has this to do with us human lovers?  Like Father, like Son; like Christ, like Christian.  Our work of love participates in the dual nature of Christ:  divine and human, eternal and temporal, sabbath rest and weekday work, Easter Sunday and Good Friday.

–from Three Philosophies of Life, by Peter Kreeft

So I looked for him but did not find him.
3 The watchmen found me
as they made their rounds in the city.
“Have you seen the one my heart loves?”
4 Scarcely had I passed them
when I found the one my heart loves.
I held him and would not let him go
till I had brought him to my mother’s house,
to the room of the one who conceived me.
5 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires.

Beautiful Dreamer

Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me,
Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee;
Sounds of the rude world heard in the day,
Lull’d by the moonlight have all pass’d a way!

Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song,
List while I woo thee with soft melody;
Gone are the cares of life’s busy throng, —
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

Beautiful dreamer, out on the sea
Mermaids are chanting the wild lorelie;
Over the streamlet vapors are borne,
Waiting to fade at the bright coming morn.

Beautiful dreamer, beam on my heart,
E’en as the morn on the streamlet and sea;
Then will all clouds of sorrow depart, —
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

– by Stephen Foster



Looking for love?  This is one of my favorite love songs.  “Some Enchanted Evening,” from a concert from Carnegie Hall in 2005 — Reba McEntire & Brian Stokes Mitchell.  “Once you have found him, never let him go . . .”


6 Who is this coming up from the wilderness
like a column of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and incense
made from all the spices of the merchant?
7 Look! It is Solomon’s carriage,
escorted by sixty warriors,
the noblest of Israel,
8 all of them wearing the sword,
all experienced in battle,
each with his sword at his side,
prepared for the terrors of the night.
9 King Solomon made for himself the carriage;
he made it of wood from Lebanon.
10 Its posts he made of silver,
its base of gold.
Its seat was upholstered with purple,
its interior inlaid with love.
Daughters of Jerusalem, 11 come out,
and look, you daughters of Zion.
Look on King Solomon wearing a crown,
the crown with which his mother crowned him
on the day of his wedding,
the day his heart rejoiced.

LOVE IS . . . triumphalistic.

Love is, simply, superior.  It belongs on a throne.  It rightly brags, praises, exults, celebrates, sings its Song of Songs.  It deserves silver and gold and robes and crown.  Heaven will be full of it (if the symbolism of Revelation means anything at all); had we not better practice living with it?

–from Three Philosophies of Life, by Peter Kreeft


New International Version (NIV)   Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
woman alone.  http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_IR2h_NgzU-Y/THzJKM8t3ZI/AAAAAAAAATo/7fJZfT9BihY/s1600/alone460.jpg
dreamer of the sea.   http://deemusic.homestead.com/files/dreamersleep.jpg

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