In a Mood to be Woo’d?

“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.”

~Ron Silflow~


Why So Downcast O My Soul?

A wave of depression (OK, in the Psalmist’s words, “downcast and disquieted soul”) bowled me over.  Think, “stuck,” “prevented,” “held back,” “denied.”

I entertained thoughts that led to a conclusion that I’m not experiencing security, significance, reward, provision in life like I believe I deserve.  Like I’m entitled to?  Can you relate this to your own circumstances?  Maybe like me, you’ve bought in to the conclusion that God’s holding out.

If so, we’re in good company with David and Job as examples:

Psa 42:5 Why4100 art thou cast down,7817 O my soul?5315 and why art thou disquieted1993 in5921 me? hope3176 thou in God:430 for3588 I shall yet5750 praise3034 him for the help3444 of his countenance.6440

Ron’s re-write:

Why so depressed and bent low, O my soul? And why are you raging, moaning, clamoring at war inside me? Hope, wait, be patient, remain in God: for I shall yet extend the hand to him for the deliverance that comes face to face.


3176 Hope


Pictures behind the Hebrew letters:

Yod = Open hand

Het = Fence

Lamed = Learn


Ron, yes there’s a fence!  You are experiencing legitimate longings for what is on the other side.  However, God’s hand is open, not closed.  To hope means to learn to see His open hand while remaining inside the fence.

Lord, I repent of declaring that You are holding out.  You’re not!  You must know what I need and I must see it freely offered, not withheld.  I have what I need and I’m where you want me.  Certainly, my groans and heaviness are valid, for they lead me to the next step of hoping, waiting, tarrying, expecting.

Could it be that my earthly longings are shallow?  Maybe my passions are too weak and for the wrong things?  Let a strong, roaring passion for heaven draw me to You.  With patience from You, I will wait.  I will trust.  I entwine.