Here’s a little midweek devotional for you…

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Song of Songs 4: 1-7 (Inclusive Bible)

[Look at you—so beautiful, my dearest!

Look at you—so beautiful!] (a)

Look at your eyes, sweet as doves

behind the veil that your hair makes,

as it cascades from your head

like a flock of young goats—

black ones, bounding down off Mount Gilead. 

And your teeth are sheep:

white as the day they were born,

or newly shorn, and freshly washed,

each with its perfect mate.

Not one of them is alone—

why should we be? 

And, ah, the lips of that lovely mouth—

a ribbon of scarlet.

Your temples, behind that veil,

glow like the halves

of a freshly sliced pomegranate. 

Your neck has the grace of Davids Tower,

with its jewels hung round it

like the shields of a thousand warriors. 

And your breasts—like the twin fawns of a gazelle,

hiding among the lilies. 

All my nights, till the sun

comes chasing its shadows,

let me play in these perfumed hills,

these mountains scented with myrrh. 

[You are utterly beautiful, my dearest;

        theres not a single flaw in you.] (a)

(a) Ref: CEB

What beautiful imagery!  Such love!  Beauty and love just come shining through these words.  Please take a moment to read it again, but this time imagine these words are written about you!  God is speaking these words of beauty to you, about you!  Now imagine that he is writing to your neighbor, or to the stranger on the street.  

Now look around.  Look at the people near you, look at your dog or car, look at the nature outside your window.  Really look.  Open your eyes to see the beauty and love all around you.  Try to look through God‘s eyes and be beguiled by the beauty all around you!  God has surrounded us by this beauty.  He wants us to see it!  To enjoy it! To be beguiled by it!

Let the beauty of creation fill you and inspire you.  Let it bring you to life!  Let the beauty open your eyes to see there is so much more in the world waiting for us to notice it.  The thing about this kind of beauty is that can diminish our self-centeredness.  It can ”Free us from the tyranny of self-centeredness and utilitarian greed…“ (Dr. Wendy Farley, ”Beguiled by Beauty“)  

Let the beauty of creation – the sky, the earth, the birds, the trees, the people, all people no matter how different – open your eyes and mind to its sacred worth.  Let it guide you in ”the way of life.“   Love your neighbor as yourself.

Loving Creator,

Thank you for the beauty of the earth and all it holds.  Open our eyes to see this world and all the people in it through your eyes.  Help us learn to love it all the way you do, so that we care for it, nurture it, and live in harmony with it.  Amen.

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