Romance, intimacy, and heartbreak

Liz Crumlish, a Church of Scotland minister working on a national renewal project Path of Renewal, writes about the exciting but often challenging experience of love and romance.


Readings

  • My beloved speaks and says to me:

    ‘Arise, my love, my fair one,
    and come away;
    for now the winter is past,
    the rain is over and gone.
    The flowers appear on the earth;
    the time of singing has come,
    and the voice of the turtle-dove
    is heard in our land.
    The fig tree puts forth its figs,
    and the vines are in blossom;
    they give forth fragrance.
    Arise, my love, my fair one,
    and come away.

    Song of Solomon 2: 10-13
    NIV
  • I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

    Ephesians 3: 18-19
    NIV
  • And they called Rebekah, and said to her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ She said, ‘I will.’ So they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse along with Abraham’s servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,

    ‘May you, our sister, become
    thousands of myriads;
    may your offspring gain possession
    of the gates of their foes.’

    Then Rebekah and her maids rose up, mounted the camels, and followed the man; thus the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

    Now Isaac had come from Beer-lahai-roi, and was settled in the Negeb. Isaac went out in the evening to walk in the field; and looking up, he saw camels coming. And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she slipped quickly from the camel, and said to the servant, ‘Who is the man over there, walking in the field to meet us?’ The servant said, ‘It is my master.’ So she took her veil and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

    Genesis 24: 58-67
    NIV
  • For it was you who formed my inward parts;

    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Wonderful are your works;
    that I know very well.

    Psalm 139: 13-14
    NIV

Prayers

  • Romance

    All those covert looks

    trying not to get caught

    trying not to be obvious in the attraction

    Hanging around for a glimpse

    with butterflies in the stomach

    Unable to eat, dreaming of what might be…

    The knowledge, that this is not like other loves,

    those mere infatuations fade into the background

    in the face of real love

    fun for a time and season

    but incomparable when things step up a gear

    in the serious business of love.

    For then, there is something worth pursuing,

    worth the work

    worth fighting for

    a light that refuses to be extinguished but that always shines through -

    A flicker in the darkest of times

    That wraps itself around and within, refusing to let go or give up.

    Real, gritty, sometimes tough love.

  • Intimacy

    Human beings

    created in the image of God

    meant for relationship

    for intimacy

    for that closeness

    where lines are blurred

    and it’s hard to tell where one finishes and the other begins

    and in the midst of it all

    there you are, O God

    intimately involved with your creation

    loving us into being

    loving us all through life

    loving us through death and new beginnings

    created and nurtured in love for all time

    The Divine mystery.

    Thanks be to God.

  • Heartbreak

    And God, in those days of heartbreak, when we feel like less than you created us to be.

    When love seems in short supply and life conspires to diminish the divine spark that is in us

    Gently remind us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, created in your image, sustained by your love.

    And in that knowledge, raise us up to be all that you created us to be, beloved children of God, on whom God’s favour rests, in whom God’s love resides, with whom God’s peace abides.

  • Love

    God, you have created humans to be unique and yet connected.

    To be independent and yet reliant on others.

    To be individual and yet part of a whole.

    May we rejoice in the freedom to make connections and discover common purpose in all sorts of people and places.

    And may we be willing to risk commitment, the commitment of love.

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