Honestly, I had never delved into the Song of Songs prior to reading Stephen Clark’s book As Good as It Gets. Now I stand amazed at the depth and richness of how God reveals himself in the “lyrics” of this song. References to the book have always been more on the subject of love, which is certainly there, but the author makes the words come alive as he directs our attention to what love means in our relationships with each other, in friendships, in community, and in the broad scope of our lives as we relate to God and man. This was my first time reading a commentary processing the thoughts behind the words in the Song of Songs, and it proved to be a very enlightening experience. Clark presents his commentary in the form of daily devotions, breaking the song into fifty days of guiding us through human emotions we face in life and relationships.
The author speaks of the beauty and passion found in the pages while seeking to discover the meaning it has for all of life: identity, community, transformation, dignity, just to name a few. The reader is taken on a journey through, as Clark says, “…a garden steeped in passion, a place filled with this tantalizing thing called love-always nearly in grasp, forever slipping through our fingers, but never left forgotten once it is found.” This book helps us be at home in relationships and takes us to the very core of God’s love. We are given what the author feels is the key to the book which is affirmation. He explains, “It may take time for this to revolutionize the way that we relate to others, but until it does, we will find ourselves alone, embattled, and unready to love and be loved.” He goes on to say, “…in love we are transformed, and in loving we become life-transforming.”
As Good as It Gets is a commentary but uniquely done, capturing the essence of the meaning behind the words while drawing out the far-reaching implications of what God intends to teach us.