I started reading once I was on the plane, a quick ride down to LB from PDX. The flight wasn't long enough. The minute I started reading about Sarah/Angel/Tirzah/Amanda I was captivated by the story of this woman. She was classy (can you even use that word to describe a prostitute?!) yet pathetic. She was smart yet stupid. She was being pursued by the most perfect man ever, and she rejected his love over and over again. I kept thinking how lucky she was to be loved by this man; she didn't deserve him! After thinking such a thought shame rushed over me. I certainly don't deserver God's love and sacrafice-- how many times have I rejected his love, command or voice? How lucky am I to have a God who loves me like Michael loves Sarah! A Lord who pursues my heart and takes me back overlooking my filth and sin, who is waiting for my whole heart and craves all of me. This love story is our love story with our Lord and savior Jesus. The lover of my soul! I am so undeserving! And yet he pursues me still.
Going into it, I knew the storyline of Reedeeming Love was the story of Hosea-- his love for Gomer and God's love for us. I couldn't read fast enough; I brought it with me to the conference and read on my lunch break and every chance I got when we weren't out with work engagements. I finished it at 2 a.m. the night before I returned to Portland. I read Hosea on the plane ride home. I couldn't get enough of the love story; its story belongs to each of us: God's pain and remorse when we tear away from him, and his abundant grace, love, and mercy he washes over us when we return to him. How gracious of a God we serve.
He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.
And oh, how He loves us oh
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all
And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…
That He loves us,
Oh how He loves us........
~David Crowder Band, "How He Loves"