Keyaira Kelly is an editor, writer, and poet based in Brooklyn. Each week, Keyaira takes readers inside the margin notes of her bible, where she mines through scripture to find golden nuggets of wisdom to help us see ourselves and the people we love through God’s eyes. You can follow Keyaira @keyairakelly on Instagram and check out her podcast Talk To Your Mom on all streaming platforms. If you have any feedback or topics you’d like to see discussed in the column, contact Keyaira at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My mama always said, “God loves beauty.” And all we have to do is look at nature to confirm that’s true. Have you ever looked closely at how beautifully a drop of rain sits on a rose petal? Or how gracefully a family of ducks floats across a pond? Or how magnificent the sky looks right before it rains?
God shows us the splendor of his mind in his creation, and that includes us of course! And in my opinion, there’s no one on the planet who honors the details of beauty like a Black woman.
Whether it’s gold anklets to match the chunky earrings, or perfectly shaped almond tips accentuating luxuriously shea-buttered down hands, Black women are going to remind you just by existing that every detail is important (flashes diamond fang).
In my opinion, God is the same way when it comes to details.
One of my favorite accounts of detailed beauty in the Bible is Song of Songs. It’s one of my favs because it’s loaded with eroticism, which is one of my favorite human art forms. (Blame it on my Scorpio moon/Scorpio rising placements, if you will).
This book, written by King Solomon, who was gifted wisdom by God (1 Kings 3:12), can be interpreted in a couple of ways. To me, it’s like the biblical version of Adina Howard’s Freak In Me. But some biblical scholars would say it’s about the bliss of marital sex, while others would argue it’s not about conjugal sexual relations per se, but more about how ecstatic the intimacy between us and God can be.
What I’d like to explore today is the latter, the importance of having a truly intimate relationship with God, and letting the details be heaaatttedd (in my Beyoncé voice).
Building intimacy with God begins with the same feeling you’d use to start a relationship with anybody else: desire.
The pull of desire is where we find the male protagonist in Song of Songs chapter 4:1-7 (NIV).
How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from the hills of Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing. Each has its twin, not one of them is alone.Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon. Your mouth is lovely. Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate. Your neck is like the tower of David, built with courses of stone; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors.Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies. Until the day breaks , and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense.You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.
Whew! What a word! I’m blushing! Talk about a compliment sesh! It’s stepping back and worshiping the feminine in poetry for me!
Now, to bring this back to heaven, I realized if I tap into that same level of intensity, but apply it to how God sees me, I can truly look at myself as another example of the beauty of his creation.
Liiikkee let’s just run this back:
“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.”
In intimate space with God, this is the sweetness with which God speaks to me. And my prayer today is that as you seek deeper intimacy with him, you will hear the voice of God as a soothing balm over all the parts of you that you deem imperfect or unworthy.
But this isn’t a one-way street. God is always seeking us, but are we seeking Him back just as desperately? Remember, it takes two to build an intimate relationship. We can gush about how God speaks to us all day, but how do you speak back to God?
When it comes to praising God, give him your best. Lavish him with compliments the way you would a lover that wined and dined ya and flew’d ya out. Why on earth would you hold back for the one who created you? How detailed are you in your thanks?
Tell God everything you love about Him and all of his creation. Tell God thank you for everything He’s done that has saved you, comforted you, and held you. Don’t have anything to be grateful for that comes to mind? Start with clean water. If you drank clean water today, shout hallelujah! 2 billion people in the world exist without access to clean water. This is what I mean when I say detailed thanks.
To close, I write this as an invitation to get deeper about your praise, to expand your realm of thanks. As you get more and more detailed with how you adore God, you vibrationally plug yourself into the source from whom all abundance flows. And that’s a love you can dive in…forever.
And that’s about as erotic as it can get right?
There’s beauty in your detailed praise.
Reflection Questions: What is something you’re writing off as “small” that you need to give glory to God for right now? How can you carry that thanks throughout your week?
Challenge: Start a jackpot list. Every time you’re grateful for something (like a good meal, or a timely text) write it down. Refer back to it when you run out of things to be grateful for.
Until we meet again,
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