“I’m in love!”
She didn’t have to tell me. It was clear from the look on her face—excitement, wonder, joy, and just a tinge of anxiety. All the signs were there.
As followers of Christ, we are sometimes a bit skeptical about this business of falling in love. We say that true love is not something we can “fall” into. We talk about how Hollywood has distorted our view of love to make it more about romantic feelings than true commitment. There are some good reasons to be skeptical.
But, if we are not careful, we who follow Christ will miss out on something the Bible embraces as wonderful and mysterious:
There are three things which are too amazing for me,
four which I don’t understand:
The way of an eagle in the sky,
The way of a snake on a rock,
The way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a young woman.
In this ancient proverb, the climax is found in the final line: the venturesome and mysterious ways of the soaring eagle, the slithering snake (not poisonous in Palestine), the sailing ship (a source of wonder to the Israelites who, unlike the Phoenicians, were not at home on the sea and on ships)—these build to a climax in the mystery and adventure and attraction between a young man and an eligible young woman.
I don’t understand it! How does an eagle soar through the air? How does a snake slither on a rock? How does a ship glide through the sea? Think of each of these images. Each portrays a seeming ease of movement with no trace being left behind. It seems so natural, but when one tries to explain it, words cannot be found. This is the mystery of a man and woman in love. The first glance of the eye. The rush of the heart. The conversations that flow long into the night. The scary revelation of mutual admiration. The moving towards greater commitment. How does it happen? I don’t know, but I’m glad it does.
It’s too wonderful for me! How does an eagle handle invisible air? How does a snake handle unforgiving rock? How does a ship handle unpredictable seas? It is not easy to negotiate air, rock and sea, much less a young woman! How does it happen? How does he capture her invisible, unforgiving, unpredictable heart? I don’t know, but I’m glad it does happen. I’m glad God created a world where there is something as unpredictable and surprising as this. Aren’t you?
There is one more thing that is even more wonderful than the way of a man with a virgin. It is the way of a man with his wife of 10, 20, or 30-plus years. It is the way of love which grows deeper and stronger and even more wild as the years go by. How come we don’t get tired of each other? How come we still get anxious to meet after a week’s separation? How come our love is kindled again and again through long talks and walks?
It is too wonderful for me. I don’t understand it.