“My Beloved is Mine”
Saturday evening, Denise and I went to dinner with Dr. Monique and Steve Butler. It was her birthday and to me she did not look a year over 21! I met Steve first when he was around 21. Before she died, Steve’s mom asked me to look out for him. I hired him to work on my City Council Staff. I watched Steve develop and mature as he finished his college education and became an engineer.
Monique was one of three young medical students who attended my church. She and Dara Maurant and Tara Way would pull me aside and ask me to pray for them as they prepared for their examinations. Eventually, Monique and Steve found each other. They dated and eventually married. I performed their wedding ceremony and later baptized their daughter. One of the nice things about serving as a pastor of a church is the opportunity to develop long term relationships with many of the members. Years ago at one special family moment Monique turned to me and said, “Nick, Steve and I look at you like a big brother.” I smiled and thought to myself how precious! Now, Steve and Monique are new deacons in the church. They sit together on the front row of the church during worship and look like “America’s Couple.”
As we joined Monique and Steve for her birthday dinner I took out my camera and snapped a few photos to try to capture the moment. They looked so happy and in love I thought back to the song of Solomon and the glowing terms in which the bride and bride groom acknowledge their affection for and to one another.
Song of Solomon 2: 16 My beloved is mine and I am his; he pastures his flock among the lilies. 
Looking at the way Steve looked at Monique I also thought of the words of a song from the 1960”s called, “She’s Not Just Another Woman” performed by 8th Day:
She’s not just another woman She’s not no, no She’s not just another woman She’s not no, no She’s given me a new born birth I found sweetness on this bitter earth She knows the things to say To help my troubles away And when the words she say won’t do She’ll try a kiss or two And if her kisses fail to move me She’ll take a little time to soothe me She’s mine, mine, mine She knows how to console me She’s mine, mine, mine She knows how to control me I don’t want nobody talking ’bout my baby Nobody talkin ’bout my baby I never thought I’d find another Who gave me more love than my own mother She’s not just another woman She’s not no, no She’s not just another woman She’s not no, no She taught me the meaning of giving She brought me back from the dead to the living From a one room dirty shack She washed the clothes on my back She’s got electrifying lovin’ As warm as a mother’s oven Don’t know where she gets the power Her lovin’ gets strong by the hour She’s mine, mine, mine She knows how to console me She’s mine, mine, mine She knows how to control me Listen she’s not just another woman She’s not no, no She’s not just another woman She’s not no, no She’s give me a new born birth I found sweetness on this bitter earth She’s been just as close as a sister or a brother She’s done things for me I couldn’t ask of my own father I believe her love would stretch From one end of this earth to the other Let me tell you she’s not just another woman
I realize someone reading this post might have a difficult time relating because you do not have someone to love. Someone reading this who has had a negative or painful experience in love might have second thoughts about what I have written. However, to me, love is grand and something to be celebrated. I celebrate the love of Monique and Steve. I thank God that I have been able to be with them and watch them grow in love with each other and with God.
Questions for Reflection:
- What connection do you make between erotic, earthly love and the love of God for human beings?
- What do you think the Song of Solomon was included in the Bible?
- Does the Song of Solomon make you more or less comfortable with the love of God?
Lord, I thank you for love. I thank you for giving me someone who places me first. I thank you for giving me a friend who accepts me as I am. Lord, I realize how special it is to have a love that is real and a love I can feel. Teach me never to take love for granted. Help me to humble myself in love, even as I learn to give and receive love. Lord, I thank you for your love. I thank you for loving me and caring for me, even when I have not fully loved you in return. I thank you for accepting me as I am. I thank you for redeeming me from my faults. I thank you for sharing with me and most of all I thank you for caring for me through my faults, frustration, and moments of excellence. I thank you this day for your love. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Nicholas Hood III of Steve and Dr. Monique Butler
Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
More about the Ministry of Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (So 2:16). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.