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by Karla Polanco
A child. A girl was traded into the world of prostitution. Times were harsh in the 1850s, especially for Angel. That was her trade name. She grew up hating the sphere of countless and faceless men that used her body, leaving her soul raw and shallow. She had tried to escape her dirty status, but the rotten world of harlotry always brought her back to its feet.
Behind all her bravado, Angel was hopeless even though she appeared to be as tough as a marble, until Michael Hosea married her. Michael isn't the hero in this story, but he represents Someone who can rescue us, despite the fact that He knows how dark our situation is — this Someone is Jesus. Through a novel called Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, Jesus also rocked my world upside down (in a positive way, of course) because I am like Angel in so many ways.
In the story, Angel cheated on Michael and ran countless times when all Michael did was show her love and a new way of living radically different from her previous life of harlotry. In the same way, Jesus bought us with His precious blood from a life of misery and from eternal condemnation. But don't we all act like Angel did with Michael when we sin? We "cheat" on Jesus. We run to worldly things. We neglect Him. We hardly pray. And, hey, if someone here is guilty of doing all the latter, it would be me. I've been there more times than I've wanted to, and I'm still struggling to keep Jesus where He deserves to be — at the center of my life.
I also must say that when I first read this novel I was sort of disappointed because if Michael Hosea had existed in real life, he would be the type of man every Christian single woman wants to marry, but even though some models of Michael are out there, in this narrative he's meant to be a portrait of Jesus not of the ideal Christian guy.
Moreover, I further realized that the punch line of this story isn't the romance between Angel and Michael. The point here is that we already have a type of "Michael" in our lives. Jesus pursues us when we run from Him. He encourages us through His Word when we feel like losers. He corrects us when we're wrong, and the best of all is that no matter what happens we'll never lose Him because He has loved us first with eternal love.
Redeeming Love is based on the book of Hosea in the Bible, and it has been in the market for a while; if you haven't read it, I really recommend you do for the reason that it's one of those books that no matter how much time has passed, you'll always find something new to learn. Even more, to me, the book of Hosea is kind of bizarre because why would God tell a prophet to marry a prostitute? That was until I realized that I was that prostitute. We were like Angel not because we were sold into prostitution, but for the reason that we were born into a hopeless sinful world until our prototype of Michael (Jesus) came in the picture, giving us a better life in Him.
I really hope this serves as encouragement to you. It doesn't matter where you're at in life. If Jesus has made you His and you're not praying, not digging into His Word and neglecting the Lover of your soul, then you're definitely running away, and He'll keep pursuing you until you reach that point when you'll have to say, "Here I am." My recommendation? Stop running. Go back to Him.
Karla Polanco is 20 years old, Puerto Rican and an aspiring journalist.
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--Great article Karla! I read that book too. About halfway through I stopped and it suddenly dawned on me that I'm like Angel a lot of the time. Ouch! I actually shed a few tears over that one. But it's true. I've run out on God or said "no" when really I'm turning down the best thing that could ever happen to me. I keep on thinking, "But it will HURT God!!!" And then all the sudden I realize once again that God is sovereign and He loves me enough to let me hurt in order to be able to heal me. Wow!!
--"I've run out on God or said "no" when really I'm turning down the best thing that could ever happen to me. I keep on thinking, "But it will HURT God!!!" And then all the sudden I realize once again that God is sovereign and He loves me enough to let me hurt in order to be able to heal me. Wow!! "
Have you ever read "The Great Divorce?" There's a section in the 11th chapter revolving around just this idea (God removing our vices, especially when it hurts us,) that you might like.
--I had never looked at the book of Hosea that way.
--I agree you wrote a great article! It was very encouraging. Your last paragraph is a great summary. The book of Hosea is phenomenal. Also, Rivers' interpretation of it is great. Thanks for writing! :)
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