Behold Thou Art Fair

gardenia

Behold thou art fair, my love.

Behold thou art fair.

(Song of Solomon 1:15)

When I look in a mirror I see the toll the years have taken. Like the woman in the Song of Solomon I have spent seasons toiling in the sun, and when I was young the only sun screen we had was baby oil and mother’s cautions to wear a hat. My cousins inherited glorious red hair; I just got the red head’s complexion, and spent many a summer’s night nursing a sunburn with a cold wet cloth. When I look in a mirror I don’t see fair.

I watched a professional photographer edit photos a while ago. I had seen her enhance lighting and subdue blushes on blushing brides before.

“People want to remember their wedding,” she said. “They don’t want to remember the giant zit that showed up on the end of their nose that morning. The zit was temporary. The love is permanent. The zit is not who they are. The zit goes,” and with one click it vanished.

This particular day she was processing a photo for her fiance’s professional biography. I watched from a distance to see if she would go photoshop crazy to idealize this man. She didn’t. She has much better equipment than I have, including a huge computer screen that will reveal the tiniest detail. She kept enlarging the photo until his eyes shone from one side of her screen to the other. Then she just stopped and stared.

“Look,” she said after a while.

“What do you see?” I asked.

“I see me,” she smiled.

I looked more closely and realized that bright spot was not a highlight. It was her own perfect image reflected in his eyes. She was concentrating on him when she took the photo, but the whole time all he saw was her, and in his eyes she was beautiful. She was the light in his eyes.

When we look at ourselves we see our flaws. We see the stupid zits in our character that may have vanished twenty years ago, but remain in our memory as freshly as if they were were still there. But when we look closely into the eyes of the Lover of our souls, the one who gave everything to show how much He loves us, the one who has promised to never leave us and who is incapable of lying or breaking a promise, we see ourselves as He sees us.

And He says, “Behold thou art fair, my love. Behold thou art fair.”

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