“We should be woo’d and were not made to woo.”
That’s a line by Helena in William Shakespeare’s, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (II, i, 242).
Helena has been cast into the role of pursuer, with Demetrius as the object of her desire, a reversal of roles which she finds scandalous.
Reading this confronted me with the reality of how I, in my impatience, fail to wait as a bride for my bridegroom. I run headlong into the woods pursuing lesser-loves bent on my demise. Scandalous!
Christ is a love-struck bridegroom. Out to pursue us. Out to woo us, to make us his own.
Why then do we cast ourselves into the unnatural role of pursuer of our own loves? Those “other gods,” those “idols” that promise fulfillment, but leave us ravished.
Deep idols like power, approval, comfort, control that we seek to fulfill through surface idols like money, spouse, children, or sex.
Ever felt ravished by chasing other lovers, torn to pieces like wild beasts? Can you tell the difference between being “lured” and being “wooed?”
I find waiting for Christ’s promised return gut-wrenching and faith-bending. The preparation holds refining and suffering. Long, long-suffering.
So, am I in a mood to be woo’d? Will I wait for what I expect? Will I keep looking for signs that my supreme lover is indeed wooing and pursuing?
Today, I stumbled on a poem I penned 8 years ago. I hope it stirs up courage and patience and alertness in you, like it did afresh for me:
Bridegroom! Call My Name.
I watch the veil of your glory
Lift and fall over mountain ranges.
Such beauty reveals, yet hides your strength.
Your winds whisper your astonishment at my beauty.
Beauty formed by your handiwork in my deepest places.
Places where you’ve fashioned trust with your words:
“I will never leave you or forsake you.”
To which I respond:
“I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.”
O when will you return?
Don’t hold back any longer.
Fountain of purity and longing
Spring up in me.
In your trust, I will wait.
Your trust and my hope wrap around each other.
They twist and entwine with each other.
Flocks of geese gather today’s grain
From Autumns’ stubble.
Sentinels posted on corners keep watch.
So I keep watch.
Immersed in daily business I watch.
Watch to guard my heart.
Watch to catch first glimpse of your garments.
How long O Lord, must I wait to see
Your arms stretched toward me?
In darkness, I hear rain softly drip
Downward from leaf to leaf.
Could that be your footsteps?
My longings stretch forth to grasp
The words you’ve left me with.
And I wait.
But I don’t want your words.
I want you.
Bridegroom! Call my name.
I will appear before you.
Let tears of anticipation and joy
Well up and burst from your eyes
As you behold the bride you’ve made.
Made to take your breath away with a gaze.
My longings for you come between me
And all the feasts of the earth.
How much longer until I hear:
“Arise, come with me my darling,
My beautiful one, come with me.”