As the evening grew late, and the moon full, my body longed for his touch, but settled for his gaze. I felt his eyes upon me as I filled the basin with warm water, fragrant salts, and exotic Egyptian spices, steaming the moonlit bath with a sensory aroma.

The perfume overcame me and in an instant I was taken over by desire. Desire for passion, for pleasure, for David, for God. As I stood on the rooftop, I settled my eyes into his, dropping my cloak to the ground as I lifted my chin to the heavens.

His breath caught, so did mine. My suitor and I held in a desirous dance with the Divine. For the first time, David saw my body, and witnessed my soul. The sacred temple of God bared for him and the Lord above.

David was a man after the Lord first, and I longed for him in a way that all but consumed me. He wasn’t mine to have. David was my king, and I married. Though my husband never returned from war, by law I was unable to wed another. How long I had waited for him to return. And when the nights turned cold, how long I had prayed for God to release me.

Tonight God answered in David’s eyes. Holding us for a moment, uniting us forever. Feeling the sacredness of the space fill the courtyard between us, I anointed my head with oils, smoothing it into my hair, and onto my throat, shoulders, and breasts. I poured the oil into my bellybutton, and massaged it onto my thighs, lifting one leg to the basin, and then the other.

The ritual bathed my skin in a soft glow, cleansing my body of the dark of the moon, the remnants of a fortnight’s blood. In prayer, I hummed the words meant to purify me, singing them into the soft night. I prayed for myself, for David, for God, and I felt the lord answer my unspoken question: Though my body thirsted, and my heart hungered, only God’s love would satiate.

I dipped a toe in at first, testing the waters and watching his lips part as I sank into the bath, oils pooling around me. Within the warmth, I felt God ease away my pain. The years spent without a lover, without a husband, without a child in my womb. God would answer my prayers tonight. Though I wouldn’t yet know how.

The water embraced me in God’s caress, touching every crevice of my body, filling me up, lit from within. I inhaled His light, His love, pulling it into every part of my body. I needed him in a way David could never fulfill on his own, but with God, my body bloomed in anticipation.

I untangled the dark mass of my hair from its braid, releasing it into the water as my fingers lingered at the swell of my breasts. David gasped aloud as my hands slid down my thighs and into the water. Free from his sight but not his imagination.

I did not notice David’s departure as my hands and body took over, awake in apprehension. As I eased my body into pleasure, I felt myself let go. Of the shame, of the guilt, of the fear. Of the years spent alone, the prayers gone unanswered. I slipped deeper into the water, deeper into my body, deeper into God.

My sighs echoed around me, sounds of praise, of trust, of giving myself up to the Lord. I released my life into His hands, my hands and felt my body respond to His touch, my touch.

In a moment of ecstasy, I cried out, losing myself to an intimate moment. It was then I realized my Lord would always satisfy. It was then I remembered I was loved. I was set free.

As I cooed my last release, I caught David’s form in the doorway, his eyes burning with an intensity only God could create. I stood from the waters, my body drenched in the reflection of the moon. With a breath, he worshiped the temple of my body, and as his cloak dropped to the floor, I worshiped his.

Without knowing if we would meet again, we knew tonight was a gift. Our God was listening. Our God was answering. Tonight would be our salvation. Tonight would change the world.

This article was originally published on Patheos Magazine.