Hosea's been on my mind lately. I'm not sure why, just that the story has captivated me.
When we read, we like to find characters that we can identify with at the time. When I read Hamlet, I was the lovestruck and confused Ophelia. Often I'm Henry De Tamble, always running, and Claire De Tamble, always waiting. Catherine Linton, yearning for transcendent love lost. Don Juan drifting through wooded copses and babbling brooks, contemplating love, life and the depths of the soul. A lot of the time it's the Romanticised traits I recognise to be mirrored in these characters. That's just me, and it's probably conceited in some way. I have a feeling that if it's possible to romanticise Romanticism, I manage it. But what about when you're not the character you want to be? When I read Hosea, I don't feel that my part is beautiful or transcendent or glorious. I'm the harlot.
Such a harsh truth, I once heard it said, "we're all prostitutes". No, I thought, I'm not actually. But it's true, I sell myself all the time to things that don't deserve my heart or body. Hosea is told to marry a prostitute called Gomer, in the knowledge that she will be unfaithful to him and his love. Imagine that every night your spouse left, walked the streets and gave her body to any stranger with enough coins. Hosea keeps loving her. Imagine she gives birth to kids you know are not your own. Hosea keeps loving her. Imagine she leaves you, goes to follow the men who pay her. Turns her back and fails to see that you supported her, fed her, kept her. Hosea keeps loving her. Not only this, but when she has been forced into slavery without his protection, Hosea goes with his silver and barley crops, and buys back his own wife. What incredible love. This is something I adore. Always, the way that people love when nothing is given back, when even the object of their affection spits in their face.
So, I am the harlot. God is the bridegroom. I sell myself to all sorts of dark things. It can be anything. Selfishness, lust, greed, a career, fame, all the things we can put above Jesus. When we were slaves to sin, because we'd followed these hopeless things that would neither fulfill nor sustain, God came down and paid the price of our freedom. He bought us back because He loves us so much that He's willing to look past all the times we've turned from Him, all the hurt we've done Him, all the times we've betrayed, ignored and devalued His love.
So it's still pretty Romantic. I think it's beautiful. Really beautiful.
In other news, I'm signed up for the Sheffield Half Marathon. Happy days. I need to learn to run.
Also, events week is going splendidly. It is, as always, incredibly exciting to see so many people up for showing God's love around campus, and it's amazing to see people engaging with talks and the like. More Lord.