Who Is this Author Writing the blog?
I, Shelley Jordan, was born Shelley Jordan Smith in Boise, Idaho to gentle, loving parents. In the sixth grade, I came across a New Testament and began to read it. I was convinced that it was the best thing that I had ever read and attempted to tell the youth at school about it. Throughout the next year, I began writing poetry about God and talking about Him at length. I took to reading John Bunyon’s Pilgrim’s Progress and became captivated by how God uses symbols to help us understand Him better. I was drawn to parables and allegories as a means of spiritual education.
I began waking up at 6:00 AM
Even though I had always been a late sleeper, I began waking up at 6:00 AM with the feeling of His Presence and a sense of anticipation that He was going to share something wonderful with me. I would get up and sit in a window to watch the sun rise, and with that rising felt a glow of His visitation. I waited. What was this feeling of promise? What was He going to give me to do? I waited and waited. Each morning, for weeks, I waited.
Also, about that time, I began to find old forts around the neighborhood that boys had built to play in. These had been abandoned by the boys, so I snuck undetected into the forts and consecrated these rough structures as places where I could seek God.
When my birthday arrived, my parents gave me a 16mm movie catalog to choose a movie to rent for a birthday party. All of the girls from my class came and we rented a black and white version of The Secret Garden from the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The movie was lovely; I felt personally drawn to the images of a girl discovering a secret garden which she tended, to where she took an invalid boy who would be healed.
Little did I know
Little did I know that these were all foreshadowings of my purpose: the writing and poetry, the obsessions with symbols, the sense of promise that I would be told something, the places of quiet prayer, and the discovery of a secret garden of healing.
At age eighteen, I had a fresh experience with God and belonged to a Christian group of teens. I recall reading the Song of Solomon from beginning to end when I was alone. I remember being confused by the imagery and which person was speaking throughout. I said to God. “I don’t understand this, Lord. Please help me understand it.” I grew very tired and fell asleep with my head on the Bible, open to the Song of Solomon. That brief rest has remained in my memory for over forty years.
He would not let go of me
One night, the group had a man come speak who was supposed to be very good preacher. I had prayed and fasted for the evening. When he spoke I was completely disappointed. He was abrasively difficult to listen to and I felt something was terribly wrong with my group. After the meeting, I ran from the house we were in, far into a huge vacant lot. I ran and ran, until I felt God tell me to stop and look back. The house I had left was in the distance.
The sun was going down behind an expanse of clouds. The red and orange of the sunset extended across the whole sky. I felt God’s Presence everywhere. He told me that I would not find Him at the house I had left. He added that I would have many hard times, but it would be alright; He would not let go of me; I had something beautiful to do. Then I fell to my knees sobbing. The beauty and sense of glory was so great that I could hardly tolerate the awe. In the last forty years, all of the things He spoke that evening have come true.
Decades later, I felt that He asked me to read the Song of Solomon aloud to Him. I did so and He asked me to repeat it. Each night, I would read the verses of the Song aloud to Him and gradually, I began noticing symbols and meanings that I had not noticed before.
I went to a healing service
I went to a healing service where a gifted servant of His laid hands on each person present to impart anointing, including me. The next day, when I opened the Song and began reading it, the ideas came to me like water pouring through me. The verse that struck me the hardest was the one about the hart looking through the lattice. The imagery of a deer shining through like light was crystal clear. When I got home, I told my friend, a Baptist minister, about the insights that I had about the song. He said, “Maybe you are supposed to interpret this book.” I paused because his words hit me deeply like a small, sweet, arrow.
One night, when I read the Song to the Lord Jesus, I recall saying to Him, “I know that everything in the word is about your cross and your sacrifice for me, but I don’t see it in the Song of Solomon. I know that your cross is here. Please show it to me.” Dear reader, I can tell you that He has shown me how verse after verse of this Song drips with His death and resurrection, the prophesy of His story, and His matchless love toward us.
My search into His Song has taken me through ancient writings that were like a thread of gold in history, revealing bits of the treasure. The golden thread came to the surface of His tapestry through each great writer, then for centuries it would go back to the side where it was not visible. Finally, now in the preparation for the bride and the wedding, the beautiful thread is reemerging to be visible again. Many of these ancient authors described the Song’s deep love letter as filled with mysteries, treasures and a heavenly banquet. A banquet indeed, I wish to share with you.
I have found the poetry filled with symbols and allegory, the secret garden, the consecrated little fort where I commune with Him, the vision in the morning sunlight for which I waited. With each word like delicacies of gold, I have grown to love and trust Him more. If you will come, I would love to show you this path “paved with love.” (SS 3:9)
I have been studying and writing about the Song of Solomon now for over a decade and have not finished. I live to do this. If you will, partake of the banquet as it is revealed in small courses. Eat a little at a time and return for more. Seek our Beloved, for He loves you.
For a profession, I am a licensed MSW and have a private practice as a mental health therapist. I am also available to provide spiritual counseling to those seeking such.