I woke with a beautiful song in my head today; one that I must have heard on the radio at some point. It was called, “The Night We Met.” I then heard a quiet and inviting Voice saying, ”Take Me back to that night.”
And something arose in response. “Really, Jesus? You want to go back there? To remember that night?” The fact is, certain life-changing memories are painful to remember. And yet these same memories (which some would call, “dark nights of the soul”) are also very precious.
What followed this internal conversation was a creative writing (below); one that combines the possible dark nights of two biblical women…the Shulamite in the Song of Songs, and the “Desolate Woman” in Ezekiel 16: 4:4-14. Both are metaphors of God demonstrating His tender mercy for us when we are a particularly vulnerable and broken time in our lives.
The Night We Met
I was hiding under my favorite apple tree when you found me. Naked, except for the thin shawl wrapped around me, I was too destitute to soak the blood of menstruation dripping down between my legs. In the fragile comfort of the moonlight I laid there and cried myself to sleep, trying to forget the hurtful words of my brothers. When I chose to go into their care after my father died, I had no idea how hard I’d have to work for them in their fields, making them profit, while neglecting the vineyard my father gave me as a gift. Such a beautiful place my garden once was. But now it lay a jungle of weeds, and a habitation of wild animals.
But then I woke to see the shadow of your form in the early morning mist, and heard you whisper, “Don’t be afraid.” I sat up in my blood, embarrassed and ashamed to look up at you, noticing only the bottom of your robe with its tassels of royalty and wealth. You reached down and pulled me up, and as soon as I looked in your eyes – I knew who you were. In my weakness and fear I could not stand, but instead collapsed in your arms. You then took me away into your tent, where you risked your reputation to feed me, bathe me, and clothe me with a beautiful embroidered robe.
The tears flow freely now as I replay that night. And how you ever so gently pledged your love, and made me your wife. You saw my beauty through my dirt, and my worth through my desolation.
Your desire was then, and always will be, for me.
What amazing love!
“But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.
I will return her vineyards to her
and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope.
She will give herself to Me there,
as she did long ago when she was young,
when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.
When that day comes,” says the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’
instead of ‘my master.’”