“…yea, he is altogether lovely…” (Song of Sol. 5:16)
"I don't know what word to say!" This was the lament of one of our great-granddaughters, which is understandable since she's only two and a half years old. J She was trying to tell a story and had reached a point where she realized there was no word in her limited vocabulary to express what she wanted to say. I know how she feels. As a writer, I find myself grappling for just the right word to convey my true meaning, and as a last resort, reluctantly resorting to a thesaurus. Even then I'm not always satisfied. This is especially true when it comes to describing the Indescribable One.
I sometimes feel like the bride in Song of Solomon, who, after extolling all the physical beauty of her Lover, finally reduced it all to four words: "He is altogether lovely." Of all the words used to describe Jesus Christ —Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, Lamb of God, Son of God, etc., I think the choice of this bride, who was rapturously in love, is mine too. "He is altogether lovely."
Unlike her, however, I am not speaking of the physical appearance of Jesus Christ, because that is relative, and relatively unimportant, since Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:16 that you and I have no physical bond to the God/Man who walked this earth two-thousand years ago. Our knowledge of, and union with, Him are not "after the flesh." It's a Spiritual knowledge and union that is not dependent on either His flesh or ours. No, He personifies the word "lovely," because His is the only perfect love, and He is the only One deserving of our highest love.
"He is altogether lovely." His loveliness is all encompassing, at all times, under any circumstances, without exception. There is nothing about Him that is unlovely. There is no flaw in His character, nothing that has to be excused. Unlike the godliest person you know, there is not that one side to Him that you could wish weren't there. Beat Him, scourge Him, spit on Him, hang him naked on a cross, He is still lovely.
It would only stand to reason that such "altogether" loveliness should call forth all-consuming love. If you and I can become enraptured with earthly beauty, how much more should we be exhilarated by the loveliness of our beautiful Savior? It was said of some old preachers that they were "God-intoxicated." That's what I want to be with Jesus Christ. I want to live and write and speak and sing "under the influence" of a breathtaking love for Him. And if I can gaze upon Him by faith through His living, breathing Word, and linger in His presence, without condition of consequence, I know I will be overwhelmed with His loveliness.
Oh, I think I've found my word, little Ava. The perfect word: lovely. "He is altogether lovely," and I am altogether in love with Him!