Song of Songs 5:2-6 2I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My beloved is knocking: “Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one…” 3[She] “I have taken off my robe— must I put it on again? I have washed my feet—must I soil them again?” 4My beloved thrust his hand through the latch-opening; my heart began to pound for him… 6I opened for my beloved, but my beloved had left; he was gone. My heart sank at his departure. I looked for him but did not find him. I called him but he did not answer.

To us, love appears to be a risk. It requires us to trust another with our very selves. When we love another person, there are times when we are disappointed by them - hurt by them. We worry about their safety, their health, and their happiness. The doubts and fears that we associate with loving another seem natural and normal: a sign that our feelings are genuine.

The reality of Jesus’ Incarnation—his life in the flesh—and the wondrous mystery of his crucifixion and resurrection tell us that these things are in fact not normal. The footsteps of Jesus to Calvary imprint on our souls the true love that we are to have: a love that casts aside fear. A love that surpasses our worries and doubts. A love that trusts: in Jesus, and in each other. 

1 John 4:17-19 17This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19We love because he first loved us.

Lord, teach us to love with your perfect, unconditional and freeing love. Help us to trust You more and make us sensitive to the many ways that You express Your love in our lives. Change us so that others will experience Your love through us. May the world – our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and our local as well as the global community – know we are Christians by our supernatural, Christ-like love. Amen.

Melissa Maleski