Ok, ya'll, it was not my intention to go almost three weeks without a decent entry, but it's just one of those thangs that happens in the summer time. Short excuse list: Kids Camp, Camp Meeting, Washing and Packing for vacay, and then off to the beach for some leisure time.
Now I'm home and ready to get back to the work... ahem... pleasure that is writing this here blog.
At the beach this past weekend, my intention was to relax with Christan (my roommate from freshman year and best friend)and her lovely family. She has a daughter who is about four months older than Chloe, and her husband is also a good friend of mine and Brandon's.
I knew that I would have quite a bit of *alone* time since Brandon had to work and Chloe would still need her regular naps and early bedtimes. So I decided to take a good book to read.
I had originally decided on The Shack so that I could come back and discuss it with Kim via our blogs. However, for one reason or another I decided to wait and get my $8 used copy from Amazon before splurging on a new one. So, while standing in the bookstore with Starr, she convinced me to borrow one of her books.
It's one she has told me about before. Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers. She told me a while ago, "It's like a Christian romance novel. It's the story of Hosea set in modern times." Now, she also went on to say it was powerful and life-shattering and all that stuff. But all I heard was, "It's a sappy romance novel."
Still, the thought of sappy romance on the beach sounded like the perfect relaxation tool.
Boy was I wrong.
I cracked the book open the first evening and couldn't put it down until 3am! Because this ain't just another novel, ya'll.
This is the picture of God's unfailing, undying, unquenchable love for his bride. For me.
I couldn't put it out of my mind all weekend. Because it's too much. Too much love. That He would pursue me when I have run away. That He would come after me when I have whored myself out to the things of this world. That He would love me in spite of it. That He would see me for who I am, and not what I have done. That He would heal the wounds that I have brought upon myself by fleeing from Him.
That kind of love. That's more than I can handle.
And certainly more than I can describe with any vocabulary I have.
So I'll just say this: Read the book. Then read Hosea. Or just read Hosea.
Here's a sneak peak from Hosea Chapter 2:
So now I will expose her lewdness
before the eyes of her lovers;
no one will take her out of my hands.
I will ruin her vines and her fig trees,
which she said were her pay from her lovers;
I will make them a thicket,
and wild animals will devour them.
"Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor [trouble] a door of hope.
There she will sing as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
"In that day," declares the LORD,
"you will call me 'my husband';
you will no longer call me 'my master.'
I will betroth you to me forever;
I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
in love and compassion.
I will betroth you in faithfulness,
and you will acknowledge the LORD.
I will plant her for myself in the land;
I will show my love to the one I called 'Not my loved one.'
I will say to those called 'Not my people,' 'You are my people';
and they will say, 'You are my God.' "