Offering delight

Offering delight January 31, 2013

Delight, writes Paul Griffith in Song of Songs (Brazo’s Theological Commentary on the Bible) (92-3) is “an offering rather than an asking.”

By gazing appreciatively at his beloved and praising her in words, the lover offers “the beloved his appreciation of her and, in making that offering, gives[s] to her a state of being she could not have given herself. This is the condition of being a beloved. This is part of the ordinary dynamic exchange of love: when you are given the gift of being delighted in, you are made new by it, transfigured in its light. You become capable, by way of this gift, of offering it to others, of taking delight in them.” In economy of eros , love is prevenient: “Becoming a beloved makes possible being a lover.”

At another register, this is the gift that the Lord gives to the reader of the Song. To see this, “you must discipline yourself in your reading toward an understanding that you participate in the Song’s beloved: that her constitution as a beloved is also yours, and that you, like her, are made capable of being a lover in your turn by the Lord’s gaze of appreciative delight directed at you.”

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