But now, at last, he seeks her.
He calls for her.
He knows the name of the Rose.
Exhausted and parched
she hears him call her name.
She stirs, raises her head, and looks around.
Her heart beats faster.
"Can it be he?
Has he returned at last for me?"
The garden where he left her
is now a wasteland---
scarred, dried, and shriveled.
Trees are stunted,
streams of living water
only a trickle.
Thickets of thorn
surround the garden,
barring his way.
With the sword of truth
he must hack them to pieces
to reach his beloved.
At last he finds her,
still clasping her alabaster jar.
Her joyful tears fall at his feet.
A second time she dries them with her hair.
But now he reaches for her hand.
"Come, beloved; it is time.
Let us go together into the vineyard
to see if the vines are in bloom." (Cant. 7:13)
Hand in hand now,
they walk in the desert garden.
And where their feet tread
a violet springs up from the ground,
an anemone lifts its head.
In their wake
buds swell on barren bough.
"No longer will you be called 'forsaken'
and your lands 'desolate,'
but you shall be called 'beloved,'
and your lands 'espoused'" (Isa. 62:4)
He whispers her name,
savoring its taste
delighting in the Bride of his longing.
- extract from The Sacred Reunion by Margaret Starbird
Painting by Hettienne Grobler, entitled The Bride
Be sure to visit
for wonderful inspiration
from the pilgrimage
of Twelve Days of Mary