The grief and longing of the human soul for things lost are made almost tangible by the poetic words. In the story, when the lovers reunite once more, the young maid cries,
So many times have I waked when the stars were sinking, to long for thee, beloved. It is cruel, at such a time, to be alone in love. . .
They marry in haste that same afternoon. She—the love of his life, now a beggar, a faded beauty. And she is dying. He—a counselor to the Sultan and exceedingly rich.
The judge officiating the wedding asks for the terms of the marriage. What can she bring to her husband as dowry?
“Property?” Omar smiled. “Hair dark as the storm wind, a waist slender as a young cypress, and a heart that knoweth naught but love. She needs no more. Make haste!”
The judge tells the scribe to writes down “Nothing of tangible value”
“And Now, what property doth your Excellency bestow upon her?”
“Everything—all that I have.”
“Will your Excellency please consider that we must place reasonable terms on record? ‘Everything’ will not stand before the law. We must have itemization…and their approximate value—”
“Write ‘Everything of tangible value,’” Omar instructed the scribe . . .
Later, before showering his bride with gifts of silk, jewels, gold, damask, and pearls Omar whispered to her “O my bride, never wilt thou know other arms than mine.”
* * *
I like stories. Don’t you?
Here’s another one.
Once upon a time, there came a Prince sent from Heaven. He was humble in garb, but was still the Son of God, and he captivated the world. He brought joy, healing, and good news for everyone. After all, he came to earth to be with the fallen race, a people who were poor, and dying…
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3)
In short, he gave them Everything, when they could give him Nothing in return.
This, my modern friends, was rash indeed. The exchange of the dowry was customary in the Eastern culture. A marriage contract had to be made official with the exchange of monetary gifts. It was as important as what we would consider an exchange of vows.
Yet time and time again in the Bible, it is God who makes the initiative to seek you out, and take you as you are as his Bride. Because the one thing you can give him–that which is “nothing of tangible value” to others–means everything to him.
So will you give him your heart?
– – –
 Lamb, Harold Omar Khayyam (New York: Bantam, 1956) p.94