The Song of Solomon is so very different from other material in the Bible. I read it and wonder what story it is telling. I know that it involves Solomon, for the text is plain about that in chapter three, but often other things are less plain.
The poem begins with the words of a woman and it reads to me like a “Cinderella story.”
She sees herself as oppressed. Her brothers make her do their work for them, and her own work gets neglected. Because the work is outside, and hard, her complexion is dark and rough. Plain – at least in her own eyes. Yet Solomon sees her as a beautiful wild flower – a lily of the valley or a rose of Sharon.
Somehow they met, and fell in love. But social distance makes the union impossible. She lies on her bed at night, dreaming of her prince charming, and in chapter three, he shows up.
Or is it just a dream?
Dream or real, it is an idealized story of how we all wish romance could go for a lifetime. Reality however requires that we wake up and deal with work, illness, conflict, and children. But that doesn’t mean romance has to end. It just means we have to remember who we fell in love with in the first place, and why, keep our priorities in check, and learn to see ourselves as our spouse has always seen us, and work to live up to their vision.