The crowd shuffled in with quit a stir; they came and got their chairs, some talked among themselves. Greeting a familiar face who had tears in her eyes when I commented how good it was to see her; she disagreed. Mrs. Zander was on deputy alert as different ones mingled together. The music stopped abruptly as she tried to get them quieted down, it worked, by the way.
Our special guest tonight was my good and faithful friend, Tammy Carr. God always expresses himself through everything she says. My favorite part she never fails to announce is how God is the one who is keeping her. She doesn’t keep herself, but says that God is keeping her. To hear her talk about God and His love, grace and mercy in her life always makes me cry because only God can do that for us. She tells it so well that I always soak up every word He speaks through her.
It was no different when I got up there to say what God wanted to say through me. I am always amazed because I never feel prepared. All week God spoke to me about the love picture between King Solomon and the Shulamite woman. She saw herself as dark, unlovely and full of shame. Her brothers made her work in the vineyard and they made fun of her, disrespected her and left her to take care of herself. When the King paid attention to her, she hid from him because she didn’t want him to look at her. He would praise her, be in awe of her, protect her and tend to her needs. This is a picture of the heavenly wooing the earthy. God wants an intimate relationship with us and wants to take care of us because He is in love with us, but we don’t think so because we know our own sin and are ashamed. We hide from Him because we have believed what the accuser has said about us. How could the King love me?
As I asked these questions and lingered in the scripture, the ladies held on to every word as if they might miss something if they blinked. God was speaking through me with such confidence and authority, as if He has preached this message before. I could see tears in the faces as I spoke of how God loves us and is willing to wait because He has no other lover. He woos us and calls out our name so that we can hear Him say how beautiful we are to Him. He says in verse 9 of chapter one, “To me, my darling, you are like my mare among the chariots of Pharaoh.” He knows she doesn’t think that about herself, but he is telling her how he sees her.
The initial fear of losing the self can lead us to retreat back into a hidden state, but we hope that he will call out again to us. Our first faith looks like darkness, but soon turns into light. We begin to believe what God says about us and it fills us with confidence in Him. We learn to trust Him and relax in His arms as we let Him love on us. We begin to radiate what we are looking at as if looking into a mirror. It never generates in us first, but in Him and we are a reflection of the one we are gazing upon.
Lester wanted to talk after church and one of the things we talked about was how hard it is to trust God to the point that we can receive Him as a lover receives her husband. He takes His time with us, never forcing himself on us. He has no other place He would rather be than with us. She pondered these things as we spoke and wants so much to have this relationship with God. She asked Him to take away the feelings she is having of smoking crack when she hears others talk about it. She wants things to be different in her life. Her voice cracked and tears welled up and she asked God to let her see herself as He sees her because she can’t see how beautiful she is to Him.
Written by Tracey Lewis