Dark and lovely? How can that be? Dark usually conveys the feeling of ugliness, unholiness, evil, or shame. Lovely can not be described as any of these.
As a child of God, I acknowledge my sin and imperfections. As a human, I am by definition imperfect and broken. It is my nature to be selfish and a sinner. However, there is someone who can see beyond my faults. Someone who loves me for me; who sees what I can become. That someone is Jesus. He finds me lovely.
In Song of Solomon 1:5, the Shulamite says "I am dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem. Like the tents of Kedar. Like the curtains of Solomon."I believe this can be interpreted to mean she is sinful, but her lover sees her beauty. The tents of Kedar describes something dirty or ugly. The curtains of Solomon depict something beautiful.
The Shulamite can be interpreted as the whole church, and even as an individual believer. This can then mean you and me. Her Beloved, is interpreted as Jesus.
I find great comfort in this knowledge. I know I am imperfect. There are things about me I do not like, I want to change. Things I try to keep hidden, from myself and others. I think all of us feel like this. I also feel frustrated and angry with myself for these ugly things inside me. Haven't you felt this way? Realizing that there is someone that knows your deep dark secrets is terrifying. It often makes you turn and run away. However, knowing that Jesus sees these, and still loves me, is amazing. It is extremely hard to fathom that someone would love me for all the horrible things I feel and have done. Nevertheless, Jesus sees my desire to change and move beyond these dark things. He can visualize me without spot or stain. Knowing that He sees this in me is encouraging. It is motivation to keep me moving forward in life and my relationship with Him. This is why I say, I'm dark, yet lovely.