It’s nearing midnight on Wednesday, September 20, 2006, and I am in the prayer room. I have my Kelanie CD playing again (I do have other worship CDs, but always seem to grab this one when I come here). God has just reiterated something from Sister J’s message that I hadn’t remembered was on this CD, and I figured I’d better try to write out what I feel He’s saying. (Thanks, God. I’m sorry I didn’t do this when I heard it to begin with). The phrase in question this time is, “I am my Beloved’s and He is mine; His banner over me is love.
I’ve heard it, read it, and sung it for years, and have consistently equated it with the little hand gestures that we put with the song as children (you know–the insipid, “cute” little house that we make with our hands over our heads). And yet, tonight I feel like God is saying, “no, C….really.”
I’m a ridiculously private person by nature, and have only just starting coming out of this a little because I’m realizing how selfish my me-oriented focus is and that God can’t use what He’s taught me to minister to others if I keep it under lock and key in a broom closet in my heart. But I don’t feel that my craving for privacy will ever change in my view on romantic relationships. I’m prudish in a lot of ways, and quite frankly, the public displays of affection beyond sitting with an arm around the other person or holding hands makes me severely uncomfortable, except, of course, if the couple is married or engaged.
I don’t like guys outside of my family to put their arm across the back of where I am sitting. I love giving and receiving hugs, but have a habit of back-patting when I do–if a hug from a non-relative guy lasts longer than two quick pats, I start to get uncomfortable (of course, this changes if one of us is crying, but that’s another scenario). That’s just the way I am.
But tonight, it hit me that God’s showing the ultimate public display of affection. And it’s okay because we’re betrothed.
Everywhere I go, a massive flag saying, “I cherish and adore her” with a big downward pointing arrow hovers over my head. It’s not something that anyone can ignore. Even those who don’t know my Beloved can’t help but see that someone loves me incandescently, any more than I can see the smile of a woman showing off a new engagement ring and not know that somewhere there’s a man in covenant love with her, even if I don’t know who he is.
Only ….God’s symbol is about 5,000 times bigger than a ring. It makes me think of the Sunsilk commercials where the women walk around with the big colored circle hovering over them. My banner is unique to me; it shows the blueprint of His love specifically directed at me, so that anyone seeing it flying in the distance will know who I am. Forget Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch. Forget Prince Edward abdicating the throne to marry the common woman of his choice. This is an alarmingly public, overwhelmingly permanent display of love that sets me apart and marks me as one who belongs to someone. All I have to do is pitch my tent in its protective perimeter.