"Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?" (Sng. 8.5)
The verse impacts me ... and my mind paints a picture of the scene.
(This apart from the literal contextual interpretation of the passage.)
I see a picture of just two people - and a desert,
and I see myself, and I see us all there.
I think of the desert - that place where death is loosed,
and where life cannot flourish -
a place representative of our human existence.
Death is there,
surrounding in circumstances, in adversities, in challenges.
And the desert is somehow also within,
fears, confusion, ambition, and the "set will of the weak."
Who would choose to go to the desert?
What caused this woman to go there?
Was it rebellion, the pride of self sufficiency?
Was it a way to try to escape her lot in life?
Did she not know her own weakness,
her own lack of direction ?
Were these the things that drove her to the place of death?
What were her feelings when she became aware that she was lost,
and weak, and hopeless?
What when she realized the desert was claiming her life,
and there was no way of escape?
What was it when she became aware of Another in the desert?
What when in the place of solitude she saw One Who walked through the desert,
sustained by a Life untouched by the dryness and the heat?
What must have been the emotion when He drew near?
What when she saw Him more clearly,
and was overwhelmed by the awareness of His Love for her?
How was it that her self-will and self-dependance, was overcome?
How was it she surrendered her whole being to Him?
In that moment of surrender it ceased to be about herself anymore,
it became about the One Who loved her,
the One Who quickened Life within her.
The the desert and all of its scarcity faded,
and she found herself transformed in His Sufficiency.
She leaned, now supported by the One Who had become everything to her.
Seeing her transfigured brought a cry,
"Who is this?"
"Who is this ...that cometh up ... from the wilderness ...
leaning upon her beloved?"
This is a picture of the True -
He came "to seek and to save that which was lost." (Lk. 19.10)
He came to replace the consuming death of the desert with Life -
in ever increasing abundance ... "from glory to glory" - "even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2Cor. 3.18)