Song of Solomon 5:13 “…His lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.” How were his lips like lilies? Lilies are among the world’s most beautiful flowers. In late June, lilies line our driveway and encircle our home in half a rainbow of color…pinks, reds, oranges, yellows, and white. (Or, at least that was true when I wrote this 20 years ago. Now most of them have been eaten by chipmunks. 😦 ) Lilies are trumpet shaped, with deep throats opening into a magnificent fringe of luscious petals. When I wrote this, I was admiring a brilliant scarlet amaryllis (a type of lily) that had been blooming for two weeks in our kitchen. My children loved watching the amaryllis. They grow from a bulb hidden under the brown earth to a shoot that sprouts up so fast we can measure the change each morning, and in a few weeks it is transformed from looking like just an empty flower pot with no sign of visible life into two 24” stems, each bearing four green pods. Over the course of the next two weeks, the pods turn from green to red, and every day or two a new star-burst flower unfurls until the amaryllis is encircled by a crown of red velvet. It is said that the Syrian lilies (the ones most familiar to ancient Israelites) were red and exceedingly beautiful. Solomon’s lips were like the ruby-colored, velvet-soft petals of the beautiful Syrian lily.“His lips are like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh”…like the soft, scarlet petals of the lily which draws the hummingbird to drink deeply of the sweet nectar from its open throat. What is the “sweet smelling myrrh” that drips like nectar from the lips of Jesus? What are sweeter than the words of life? Myrrh—the symbol of death—dripping with the sweetness of eternal life…which sprang up in resurrection after the death of our Lord…so beautifully symbolized by an amaryllis or an Easter lily! The words of life, grace, and peace that he speaks to us comes as a result of his bearing our sin and dying for us. “Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips” (Psalm 45:2). “And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth” (Luke 4:22). “The officers answered, “Never man spake like this man” (John 7:46). These are precious truths spoken of our Lord’s speech. Truly “his lips are like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.”
“…pain is quiet, and love.
And even childbirth pains
Are soundless in themselves
So came our Lord,
Amid the pain, the ache, the dirt, the hate,
To tell of love.
And as He lived in love, giving it,
Knew the pain as well.”
—Ellen Weldon, Essays on Love
(Thank you, Silas, for being willing to share your lilies!)