From: Lucia Flaherty
Behold, you are beautiful, my love,
Behold, you are beautiful. (Song of Solomon 4:1)
In this section of the Song of Solomon, Solomon details the perfection of his beloved—the way she looks, the way she smells. As I sit down to write this reflection, somehow snatching time when my toddler and infant are miraculously both asleep, I feel very far from this picture of flawlessness. I count each day as a good day if we make it to the end and we’re all fed and still wearing something resembling clothing. I’ve gotten used to being doused in vomit, nose blood, eye puss, and other people’s hand-picked boogers (all examples from this last week). The fragrance of my garments is far from the “fragrance of Lebanon.”
Can God really see me through all of this? Does he see through all of this external (and internal) mess and find beauty? Paul seems to speak somewhat to this discrepancy between how things seem to be and how they actually are—“we are treated as… having nothing yet possessing everything” (2 Corinthians 6:8-10).
After chaotic days, it is hard to rest in the visible realities of my life. I cannot rest in the guarantee of haphazard sleep or an ever-changing routine of playgrounds, snacks, diaper changes, and naps. Instead, as the Psalmist says, “My soul finds rest in God alone.” Carving a space for God in my days is non-optional. It is where I find peace and safety. It is where I am saved. It is where my nothing becomes everything.
Thank you, God, for giving to me so freely, so generously.
I live in Jamaica Plain with my family.