The bride in the ‘Song of Solomon’ describes herself as ‘black and beautiful’ in verse 6 of chapter 1. She explains her dark skin as the result of being made to work in the sun, in the vineyards.
Here the colour – black – assumes a meaning of hard work, of endurance against the harsh elements of nature. Her own siblings were unfavourable to her as they dealt harshly with her. And the effect of all that hardship could not be undone.
But then, she is beautiful. And she is drawn by the king into his chambers.
There is a movement in the body of Christ of discerning and hard-working people – who are enduring great hardships and strain, often being ill treated by their brothers and sisters in the faith community. All these toil and hardships leave their marks and scars on them (though not for eternity, except the rewards). They are the wise virgins who are received by the bridegroom into His chamber from among those who are left behind.
The words of the bridegroom are sure – “For those who want to preserve their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.”
This is a call for God’s mission.