Song of Songs // Lily Among Thorns

Image by Melissa Clayton

Image by Melissa Clayton

Song of Songs 2: 1-7

I am a flower of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. Like a lily among thorns,so is my friend among women.

“Like a lily among thorns,”- a beautiful, delicate, unique flower among thorns. You are a lily among thorns. When you step outside your house in the morning, the harsh reality that it is not a flourishing lively Catholic world hits each and every one of our faces. We are called to be those lilies. We are called to be the beautiful, unique, bold witness. We are called to do this, yet we don’t stand alone; when you look around you, there are so many others thinking the same thing.

Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my lover among men.

In his shadow* I delight to sit, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.

As we step out our doors in the morning, we desire to be loved and we desire to be protected. No matter what stage of life we are in; dating, engagement, marriage, single. We want to be loved, protected, and desired. Surprisingly, these things are something we feel on the daily; not just in our love lives, but in our friendships and relationships as well. We desire to be loved and protected by our friends, by our family, by our boyfriends/fiances/husbands. Look above, “an apple tree among the trees of the woods...In his shadow I delight to sit, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.” I don’t know about you, but when I walk in the woods it’s not very often I see an apple tree. They are rare, but get past the rarity and think, an apple tree provides for our nourishment. The shadow protects us and gives us shade. This is what we seek when we want to be loved: protection, shelter, nourishment.

 He brought me to the banquet hall and his glance at me signaled love. Strengthen me with raisin cakes, refresh me with apples, for I am sick with love.

Many times, when we hear nourishment, especially when it is talking about anything other than food, there are many blank stares staring at the screen. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food! When you go out for coffee with a girlfriend, that is nourishment. When you go and sit in the chapel and pray-that is nourishment. When you look up at the mountains and are grateful for their beauty-that is nourishment. Nourishment isn’t just from our food, but when you start looking around, we see we are surrounded with a banquet feast of nourishment. With these coffee dates, chapel time, awe of beauty, and gratefulness - we should be sick with how much the Lord loves us because of what he is surrounding us with.

His left hand is under my head and his right arm embraces me. I adjure you, Daughters of Jerusalem,* by the gazelles and the does of the field, Do not awaken, or stir up love until it is ready.

This line. “Do not awake or stir up love until it is ready,” what a profound verse for relationships today. But is it the encouragement and reminder to be patient in our relationships? So many times when we are trying to nourish ourselves and our love with others ,we make mistakes. We try to force a relationship, we try to change ourselves for them, we may settle, and we may rush. This not only applies to our romantic relationships but to our friendships as well. We can’t rush into these things thinking that each and every friendship and relationship will be one with nourishment. So we must be patient and see it flourish in order to nourish us.