Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Green Sofa

Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved,
truly delightful.
Our couch is green;
the beams of our house are cedar;
our rafters are pine.
~Song of Songs 1:16-17

"Our couch is green." She says. This sticks out at me each time I read Song of Songs.
Hair like a flock of goats feeding on the mountain? Fine.
Teeth like wet sheep, eyes like flighty doves, legs like ancient trees? Okay.
Handy home decorating tips? A tad out of place, perhaps?
Why is that in there? What does it mean for green couches and pine rafters to be included in this passage of Scripture?

Various Bible commentaries suggest that this passage is speaking about the pastoral nature of shepherding -- describing a resting place [cough, "bed"] among the trees. Some suggest symbolism, green being a color of spiritual richness and fruitfulness, pine and cedar being costly gifts, sweetly fragrant and strong. Either explanation seems logical...

...and yet, somehow I am not satisfied with that reasoning. Somehow I keep thinking how like a woman it is to plan a home as part of her expression of her love. To literally mean: the house you build for me and I tend for you has cedar beams and pine rafters because we love each other and that just says home to me.

"You're eyes are like doves." he says.
"Thank you, I love you too. Now, about our cozy little nest..." she says.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems intuitive that a woman might say something like that. To express love through home-making. It feels honest to include that detail in the story. There I was, he writes for all to read, pouring my heart out in poetry. Describing her beauty, telling her of my love. And she responded favorably. She loves me... and she'd like to get a green sofa for our living room.

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