Song of Songs 1:5-6 I am dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, Like the tents of Kedar, Like the curtains of Solomon. Do not look upon me, because I am dark, Because the sun has tanned me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; They made me the keeper of the vineyards, But my own vineyard I have not kept.
Dark but lovely…in a day that placed value on untanned skin, her darkness marked her as one lacking financial resources, which required her to live a life of labor. But notwithstanding her darkness, there was a beauty still remaining.
Every life contains the beauty of God’s image, but in us all it is marred by the darkness of sin. Some may appear darker than others because they have labored much for that taskmaster. But beneath it still is that image…though tarnished, it remains.
So let us not look upon others because they are dark…focused on the blackness of their sin. This is not who they are just as it was not who you truly were. We are to judge no one after the flesh. Look further, past the disfiguring effects of sin, and see….what lies just beneath the surface….tarnished but still faintly seen…the image of the Creator…waiting to be made beautiful again by the blood of Jesus.
At times in my own life I have seen the marring effects of sin so prominently that I have felt identified by it and lost sight of the beauty that remains. I am still His. I am still loved.
Like the coarse tents of Keder
Like the luxurious curtains of Solomon
Treasure in an earthen vessel
Dark, but lovely