There are several love stories within Hearts Set Free, though to say too much would reveal the novel’s secrets. I’ll share this much, however: no epic would be complete without a tale of young lovers who must overcome great obstacles to be together, and mine is no exception. One of the book’s heroes is a young man named Luke, who narrates close to half the chapters. The excerpt below takes place just after his marriage (I’ve changed the name of the female character) and shortly before one of the story’s most dramatic moments.
“You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride,” I would quote to her from the Song of Songs, for Rebecca was my rose of Sharon, my dove, my flawless one. She told me that, before our marriage, she’d often lain awake deep into the night; but how soundly she slept in our days together, her head against my chest, the better to hear the beating of my heart. I’d fight off sleep just to treasure those moments and breathe in her scent, which was like star jasmine borne on the desert wind.
So we loved, and dreamed, and made our plans; and all the while, another man was making his.
The same Hebrew word that is translated “rose of Sharon” in Song of Songs 2:1 appears in Isaiah 35:1, which the KJV translates as “…the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” Elsewhere in Hearts Set Free I quote at length from Isaiah:
I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.
For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert will rejoice and blossom.
Isn’t that how we experience love when it enters our lives? And every love story ought to remind us of the grandest love story of all, that between Christ and His bride, the Church; between our Father in Heaven and His errant sons and daughters. The Word of God is living water, a river that flows into the barren heights and parched ground of our souls.