I could spend a lifetime learning to understand the symbols in this unfamiliar room, and I figure this is what we were made to do. A candle burns. Our body hungers. We wear certain robes. The light shines in, and we see Christ naked, exposed on a cross. Hands raise in beggary, in praise. The weight of sin is as heavy as a tree on a broken body. We in our dying skin find ways to touch the heart of God, to surrender our secrets to the Invisible and to watch Him manifest in our flesh.
A man who lays at night with no woman speaks of marriage. He tells us what it means. He says that a man will come in this place, and a woman also. They enter, two people. They stand before a room of witnesses, whose job it is to intercede. We will invite the Holy Spirit, and they will be joined.
They leave as one person.
Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot wash it away.
If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love,
it would be utterly scorned.
Then he raises the rings and asks us to pray a silent blessing.
The groom and his bride were meant to dance, to be taken, washed, strong, burning, and sealed – the most beautiful thing the body will ever do,
and the priest knew it better than I.