Romantically Redeemed

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The act or process of redeeming, the state of being redeemed.

So I've been re-reading this book called “Redeeming Love,” it's a romance novel by Francine Rivers. This one especially caught my attention...mostly because it's based on the book of Hosea. It's a book about this girl, Angel, whom at a very young age is sold into prostitution. She grows up knowing no other way of life, till one day, after being nearly beaten to death a man (who heard God tell him he was to marry her, and whom she has only talked to a few times) comes to her rescue and buys her way out of the brothel and takes her to live with him as his wife on his farm.

Quite often throughout this book I find myself frustrated with Angel and her “wishy washy” self. I get so excited because I think “YES! Finally she's got it! Michael doesn't care about her past....he loves her for who she is now, and who she can be!” and then she'll go back into a state of unworthiness and telling Michael that he shouldn't love her, that based on her past, based on the girl she had been, that she isn't worthy of love, and that she should never have been born. And it drives me crazy, it makes me want to get in the book and grab her myself and shake her till she realizes that none of that matters anymore. She has been not just forgiven...but she has been redeemed...her past no longer matters! After having gone after her when she left him twice, the third time Michael tells God that he is not going to force her to come back to him, she will have to choose to do so on her own. Michael waits patiently for Angel to return home, even though he is told by people that he should just give up on her, that she has most likely gone back to her old ways, and that she never really did love him. But after three long years of waiting Angel finally returns home to him...a changed woman. I love the ending to the book, I guess partially because the scene is similar to that in the ending of Pride and Prejudice. During the 2+ day journey back home to Michael, Angel wrestles with the many feeling inside her. She is overwhelming at the fact that Michael has waited all this time for her to return to him...and is excited about seeing him, but she also fears that he will be angry with her, and that this time he won’t forgive her. As she crosses the field to where he is working she slowly begins to strip herself of what defines her, first her shawl, and then her shirtwaist, till finally she removes her corset and pantalets and ending it with removing the pins in her hair...stripping away every layer of pride, she appears before Michael humble, ashamed, and naked. Realizing the pain she has caused him, she falls to the ground before him weeping, asking for his forgiveness yet again. To her surprise Michael reaches down and draws her up to him, he looks with tear filled eyes into hers and calls her by her special name, the name he calls her only during their most intimate times, “Tirzah" which means "She is my delight."

The love expressed in this book is almost overwhelming to me as it not only reminds me of the love I hope to one day find in a husband, but it reminds me of the love that Jesus Christ has for all of us. A redemptive love, a love that says “I don't care who you were before you knew me” it’s a love that says “It doesn’t matter what you've done I just love you for who you are now and who you will become.” It just amazes me how, even though God knew every mistake we would make (and will make), every time we would turn our back on Him, He chose to redeem us from the curse we were living in, He chose to bring us into his home and to be one with us despite the fact that we were not pure. But through Him we have been cleansed and made new. He has taken us from our fallen state, washed us, and clothed us in His finest linens. And you know the best part? He did this knowing we would turn our backs on Him again, knowing we would leave Him, believing it was what was best. And He still stands there, waiting for the day we return to Him again, and in our state of brokenness before Him, He forgives us, and calls us His Beloved.