Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Sunday night around 4 A.M. I finished reading Redeeming Love. About my sophomore year in college I gave up on modern Christian fiction. Most of it was badly written and teetered more towards cheesy romance than actual good literature and therefore I decided not to waste my time. Besides, I reasoned, only Christians read Christian fiction, and that severely limits the witness you could have if you chose instead to simply be a writer who was a Christian. I had been told in high school, however, that I absolutely had to read Redeeming Love. It was beautiful, wonderful, amazing and so on and so forth. I hardly remember the arguments now, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I finally decided to buy the book and get down to it. I bought it because I dog ear everything I read and didn't want to destroy someone else's book. That night I was up until about 2 AM reading, almost unable to put it down. The story describes a young woman named Sarah, born out of wedlock with a father who wishes she had never been born and a mother who spirals quickly down at the loss of his love, selling her body for money until she dies on the docks in New York. Sarah is then unwittingly sold into prostitution at the age of 8 and begins a ten year struggle to survive, growing more and more hard and distrustful as time passes. The first chapter picks up with her arrival in California during the gold rush. Now called "Angel" for her beauty, the young prostitute is considered quite the commodity to the men coming back from panning gold, separated from women for extended periods of time. Then we meet Michael Hosea. Having come into town to sell the produce of his land and buy supplies, the farmer catches sight of Angel walking through the streets, guarded by a man with a gun. At this moment he receives a clear message from God: "Marry her." The story goes on to describe how Michael's love softens the hardened girl and how his faith drives her to the foot of the cross. It is the story of Hosea, the story of Israel, my story. I would recommend this to anyone, even an unbeliever as it paints such a strong picture of our depravity and God's grace.