She is ugly!

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ,
The letters of Ruth Bryan
" October 31, 1849)

Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth! that
this most glorious Immanuel, the Prince of Peace, whom
angels worship, and before whom the seraphim bow--
should from all eternity engage to come and seek His
Bride from this poor world, and claim her for His own!

Yet so it is!

But she is filthy and polluted! (Ezek. 16:6; Job 15:14-16;
Isa. 64:6) Then His own precious veins shall pour forth the
rich crimson flood to cleanse her, (Rev. 1:5) and His Spirit
shall open the fountain to wash her from her sin and
uncleanness. (Zech. 13:1)

But she is naked and bare! (Ezek. 16:22) Then He will
cast His skirt over her, (Ezek. 16:8) and will for her, weave
in the loom of the Law (Rom. 5:19) fine linen--clean and
white--a robe in which she shall be fit to appear at His court!
Moreover the Spirit shall bring near the righteousness of Jesus,
(Isa. 46:13) clothing her with "the garments of salvation," and
covering her with the "robe of righteousness," "as a bride
adorns herself with her jewels."

But she is diseased! (Isa. 1:5, 6) She is a leper! (Ps. 51:5)
Yet will He bring her health and cure, for He says, "I am the
Lord who heals you;" and He is actually made to be sin for
her, (2 Cor. 5:21) that she might be made "the righteousness
of God in Him."

But she has no personal charmsshe is ugly! Then He
will put His loveliness upon her, and through it her beauty
shall be perfect.

But she is poor! So He bestows Himself and His fullness
upon her--and thus endows her with unsearchable riches!

But she is unwilling, and has no heart to the match, for
she obeys a hostile prince! (Eph. 2:2,3) Her delights, too,
are in the world and the flesh. A new heart will He give her,
and a right spirit will He put within her. The Holy Spirit shall
make her willing in the day of His power. "I will cause you
to forget your images of Baal; even their names will no
longer be spoken." (Hosea 2:17) So that, prostrate at His
feet, she shall say, "Lord, our God, other lords than You
have ruled over us, but we remember Your name alone!"

And now that the Spirit has touched her heart, she feels she
is diseased, and discovers her filthiness and nakedness,
knows she is ugly and poor, and cannot think the Bridegroom's
heart is towards her, or that she can find favor in His eyes. And
therefore she cries out, "I am black!" "Behold, I am vile! My
loveliness has turned into corruption!" But He overwhelms her
by responding, "You are all beautiful, my love, there is no spot
in you!"

Then she exclaims, "Place me like a seal over your heart, like
a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death!" He replies,
"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you
by name; you are Mine! When you go through deep waters
and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through
rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through
the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames
will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy
One of Israel, your Savior!"

Now she ventures, with a captivated heart, to declare, "My
Beloved is mine, and I am His! He is the chief among ten
thousand! He is altogether lovely!"

"May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so
great you will never fully understand it!" Ephesians 3:19