This morning I was flipping through and started reading in chapter 3. As always found myself wondering what it would be like to be as beautiful as the woman that this lover is so enthralled by.
Then I flipped back to the first chapter... and head the woman speak
I am weathered, but still elegant, oh dear sisters in Jerusalem. Weather darkened like Kedar desert tents, time softened like Solomon's Temple hangings. Don't look down on me because I am dark, darkened by the suns harsh rays. My brothers ridiculed me and sent me to work in the fields. They made me care for the face of the earth, but I had no time to care for my own face." Song of Songs 1:5-6
I began to see a different picture of this woman. She didn't see herself as beautiful... she saw her flaws. She saw her dark, weathered skin... remembering how her brothers had teased her, and acknowledging how she had been working in the fields, not staying inside pampered as the women of that day were expected to. She seems to almost be apologizing for her appearance here.
How often do I feel the need to do the same? How many times have I wanted to apologize to my own husband for being overweight or put on sunglasses to hide my face when checking the mail without any make up on when I knew the neighbors were outside too? Is it possible that this woman in the song of songs also had trouble with her self image?
But how can this be? The rest of the book is full of her lover's compliments. Full of her lover's loving gaze never once mentioning a negative quality. The rest of the Song of Songs paints a picture of a woman whose beauty stirs the heart of her lover.
With this realization, I began to become fully aware that this book really is a glimpse into God's heart for me... His bride. He doesn't view me through the eyes of criticism and judgment.. He sees me through the eyes of love. He sees me and "feasts" on me.
"He took me home with him for a festive meal, but his eyes feasted on me!" Song of Songs 2:4
I shouldn't (and won't) be jealous of this woman in the Song of Songs... I will instead embrace the poetry of love and accept that at my core.. I am this woman.