Let’s get one thing straight, shall we? Jesus is not my boyfriend, ok? So when today’s prompt suggested that I go on a date with God (by lighting a candle and reading my Bible), it just felt weird. When it comes to a romantic relationship, God gave me a lovely husband for that; the relationship I have with God is different and so it should be.
It’s like some modern worship songs that I feel uncomfortable singing. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jesus, but as a brother, friend, Saviour, and captain, not as a boyfriend. My husband says it’s as if these songs have taken an ordinary ballad and just replaced the noun ‘love’ with ‘Jesus’. (Try it for yourself with something like Barbra Streisand’s ‘Evergreen’ or Wet Wet Wet’s ‘Love is All Around You’ to get the idea).
There are romantic images in the Bible: Hosea’s self sacrificing love for his wayward wife; Christ’s bride, the Church. But these are images of God’s loving relationship with His people not with an individual. And of course, there is the Song of Songs – some argue that this is also a metaphor for God’s love for his people but I’ve always read it mainly as an erotic love song between two human beings.
I was reminded of a verse from it today, one that my brother and his wife had piped on their wedding cake. Gazing at the power and listening to the brute roar of the confluence racing, lemming-like, towards the immense drop that is Niagara Falls, it seemed apt to recall, ‘many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.’
Perhaps my problem with today’s prompt is my British meaning of the word ‘date’. I need to remember what seems to be a more American interpretation that implies just a specific time put aside for two people to do something together, as in a play date or a Daddy-daughter date. And perhaps that’s the important thing – to put aside a specific time to be with my Heavenly Father, just like I do with my earthly one.
I’m just not going to call it a date though.