Once there was a girl who was given a gift by the King. He placed the gift deep within her heart; a singular talent that she loved from the moment she first used it. Singing brought to her life the thrill of creating beauty in honor of the King. Fearlessly and without inhibition of any kind, she could project her voice to the top of the sky and into the deepest caves where it would echo back to her and the King. The joy they shared was profound.
True love can never be untried however and the time of testing came for her as she joined the quickening of community. Like a lion she roared in with a merry song about the joy of the King and His creation. Unfortunately, it quickly became clear that her songs annoyed people, even people who claimed to love the King. She experimented, trying different ways to sing that might better suit those around her. The changes, however, were never good enough.
Seeking to please the community the song of her heart changed and with it the harmony. She found a stage where the praises of the community filled her with a fleeting satisfaction. She grasped at the affections of those around her. For the first time she noticed how often she messed things up. Her imperfections began to become her focus. Different members of the community offered their critiques and techniques. It was overwhelming. She grieved the loss of simpler days before the quickening.
Soon sorrow flooded her music and the community grumbled and turned away. Her longing for connection consumed her. No longer could she stand her own songs. Silently, one day, she shut the door of her heart. The singing ceased as sadness and rejection consumed her. She longed for the King but she could no longer even picture what he looked like. She retreated to the outskirts of the community where no one of any reputation would be. There she took her gift and buried it with the hopes that her sorrow would end.
Walking away from that place she very intentionally made earning the love of the community her goal. It may be that people will accept me now she thought. As she reentered, the noise of a thousand voices pulled her from all directions. Everyone was arguing and telling her how to do this or that; who she should listen to and shouldn’t; and last ,who had it wrong and right. The world began to spin, the noise literally making her ill she sat down in a doorway in the middle of town. There she buried her head in her lap, covered her ears with her hands, and sighed.
She tried to call to mind the King; she wondered why he had sent her here. His voice she couldn’t recall nor his countenance bring to her memory. Imagining he was displeased with her for discarding his gift caused her sorrow greater still. Although she had used the gift imperfectly it had, after all, brought joy. She puzzled, “If I can’t accept myself with all my flaws how is it that the King can? Maybe he never did and it was all just something I made up.” At this thought, she despaired and cried herself to sleep with bitter remorse.
Something disturbed her mournful uneasy sleep on the doorstep. It was the sound of music near by. A strange but pleasant mood hung in the air around her. Moon hanging low in the sky, stars sparkling around it; she was drawn to the sound by the fountain in the center of town. There at the fountain in the center of town stood the King’s Mother bathed by the light of the moon. Instantly, she recognized her by the gentle features of her face and her beautiful robe. Her arms reached out towards the girl beckoning her to come. The girl ran and fell into her mother’s arms and wept. Wordlessly, the Queen Mother placed a beautiful necklace around the neck of the girl, gave her a gentle kiss on top the forehead, and was gone.
Bright morning sun filtered through the trees the next morning waking the girl from her slumber. She stirred and stretched and suddenly appeared startled. Her thoughts turned to the previous night, “What a beautiful dream!” she mused. The Queen Mother was so gentle and kind. Remembering, she felt refreshed and dithery; also thirsty. Walking to the fountain she leaned over to get a drink but something quietly splashed and rippled the water underneath her face. Looking, she uttered a small cry of astonishment. Around her neck was a necklace, THE necklace! She quickly grabbed it with her hand and took it off. Marveling at the exquisite beauty she realized that she hadn’t been dreaming after all. All the world seemed to be standing at a hush for this one small moment.
Pondering the event in her heart, bliss surrounded her like the rays of the sun on a pleasantly warm autumn day. Instead of wearing her necklace; she carried it in her hand so she could contemplate the mystery. Gazing upon it she began to recall the King’s kind and gentle ways. She recalled the day He had called her to his court and given her a token of his love. It looked like a dancing ball of flame in his hand. He told her it was his gift to her and he placed it in her heart. Startled from her reverie by her own thoughts, “The GIFT!” she blurted out in the stillness. “My gift, my gift! Where is it?”
She jumped up from where she was sitting; ready to run in the direction she had buried her gift but she couldn’t remember for certain. Perplexed she walked the outskirts of the community. The search was long and in moments of discouragement she would reach up to touch the necklace given to her by her Mother. Feeling refreshed she would continue. Many months passed before she found the place where it lay, still smoldering in the wet wooden box she buried it in. Carefully, she blew on it until it danced once again in her hand. Putting the gift of song back in her heart she wept for joy. She began to practice her singing; it was going to take a lot of work, just as before. This time, however, she knew that the song she was singing wasn’t for anyone else but her Father, the King. Her gift was for His glory and their happiness together. Remaining a part of the quickening of community she realized that her heart didn’t belong to them but to Him. If she would only lift up her song for Him then all the rest would be added unto her.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come…
~Song of Solomon 2:12a