Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Your teeth are as white as newly shorn sheep. Really.

Flickr photo by Cameron Chamberlain, creative commons
When kids begin third grade in my church, our congregation gives each child a Bible, embossed with his/her name. Sarah was so excited to get hers that as soon as she got home, she ran to her bedroom and started reading the passage from Sunday school that morning.
It seems that the teacher had left a few things out of the lesson, in order to make it rated G.

She stormed into the kitchen, waving the Bible at me.
"Mama, do you have any idea what they put in this thing? No wonder they make you wait 'til third grade before they let you have it!"

When I was a little, the Song of Solomon gave me a similar shock.
Did my parents know what they wrote in there?
All that steamy talk about breasts and thighs? A man at the door, when she's already undressed?
It was perfect for a curious Baptist girl. I'd hide in my room and read it, and when Mom wanted to know what I was doing in there, I'd yell, "I'm reading the Bible, Mom."

Over the years I've read it again and again, sometimes to appreciate and soak up the passion that God has for His people, Christ for His church. And sometimes to snicker over the lines like the title of this post, and the verse that follows.
"Your teeth are as white as sheep that have just been shorn and washed. Not one of them is missing; they are all perfectly matched."
Try that pick up line next time at the gym.

A few weeks ago, I was started my writing day as usual, listening to Garrison Keillor's lovely voice reading me The Writer's Almanac, when the poem for the day caught my attention.

Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth;the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.
My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.
Song of Solomon 2:10-14

It took my breath away.
I can hardly stand the beauty of the promise, that every morning when I open my eyes, God is there, running to me, pursuing me.
Saying to me that yesterday is gone and everything is new again, and lush.
He calls to me as I plunge into the busyness of my day, asking me to show Him my face, to speak to Him, telling me how beautiful I am.

I just love that. I think I might have to print that out and tape it to my mirror.
It'd be great to read daily, but especially on days when my hair isn't dancing like a flock of goats.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, y'all!
Before you skip on out of here, like gazelles, racing down the mountain, be sure to say hello!
Any Song of Solomon thoughts?

Love, Becky


Roxane B. Salonen said...

Rebecca, I have memories of finding the Song of Solomon during high school CCD classes, sneaking glances and snickering over it at a time when hormones were running wildly through our bodies. Oh man, the rush. And then to realize later, that's all about God's love for us. Thanks for the memory. Wish that's as bad as it could get for kids these days. :)

Thanks for your beautiful posts!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

That is steamy stuff! I can just imagine how lovely it sounded while Garrison read it, too.
Our pastor has preached out of that book THREE times since I've known him--and I love it. He declares it's a celebration of romantic love that God created and provides for men and women. Couldn't agree more.

Mompriest said...

I think I too should print that out and tape it on my mirror. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting on Mary Oliver's poem. I love her writing.

Jenny said...

I was a baby believer in college and our ministry group, Campus Crusade for CHrist, brought ina wonderful pastor from Denton Bible Church, to go through a series on The Song of Solomon and suffice to say, through pastor Tom Nelson, God rocked my world in this unexpected language of His love for us and what courtly, and wedded love should look like. I still have the tape series and the portion you shared and the Lord so well telling us that his banner over us is love play the heart strings deeply.

Amy Sullivan said...

I love your suggestion of using the "teeth are as white as a newly shorn sheep" at the gym..I laughed out loud. I really enjoy how you present things. You can be serious one minute and silly the next.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Roxanne, funny! And my Good News Bible has pictures. Not explicit ones, but enough to get the imagination going. :)

GG, it was May 19 I think, if you want to hear his honeyed voice. It is a beautiful description of romantic love.

Hey Mompriest, tape away. I always love reading Mary Oliver.

Jenny, we just can't get enough of being loved, can we? It's good to be reminded of what our brains can't fully process.

Hey Amy, you're sweet. I'm really glad I discovered your blog too. Always something good to read!

revhipchick said...

we do the 3rd grade Bible give away as well. though, i think your daughter's response is the best i've ever heard!

whenever the kids/youth tell me the Bible is boring i take them directly to Judges. the Bible is anything but safe and boring! it's so much fun to read it with someone who's only heard the g-rated stuff (which like you noted is often altered to be G). we should never be suprised by what the world throws at us--all the depravity and strangeness and sex we could ever desire is there!

thanks for the great post!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

So true, revhipchick! I'm going to have to reread Judges. I'm doing Exodus right now and can't believe all the stuff I've missed through the years!

Heidi Mann said...


I remember getting my first Bible at that same age (well, I guess it was the end of 2nd grade) and holing up in my room that afternoon to pore through it!! Isn't it wonderful when we are young and still excited to read the Scriptures?!! (Hopefully that continues, but of course we do have our ups and downs in that realm as adults. Or at least, I have.)

I am currently copyediting a fiction series for an author, based on the life of Solomon and the Song of Solomon and the Book of Proverbs, so your post fit right in with my work!

Thanks again!