Have you ever:
· wondered how it feels to be rejected, betrayed, used, and lied to all your life? or
· had high hopes and it crumbled in your face?
Love is a farce to you now because of how the world has defined it for you, so when you see the genuine expression of love, you fight it. And you have also believed a false identity about yourself.
Francine Rivers, author of this enthralling book ‘Redeeming Love’, takes on a journey in the 1800s about a lady who never experienced true love right from conception. She grew to detest the idea of love and most importantly, hope. She detested it because whenever she hopes, it came back haunting her. At a tender age, she was made to believe “God’s truth” about men — a false notion.
This book is an allegory of the unconditional, never-ending love of Christ. Love that sticks by your side even when you reject it; when you feel undeserving of it. It portrayed the events from the Book of Hosea in the Bible. Prophet Hosea was a man who was instructed by God to marry a prostitute and she will bear his children.
In this book, there are two main characters: Angel (whose birth name was Sarah) and Michael Hosea. Eight-year-old Sarah was given to a pedophile by one of her mother’s men after her mother died. He used her and fed her with lies and when she grew past his taste, he used her as a prostitute to heavily extort wild men.
Angel escaped from him. She scarcely escaped rape from men in the other town she ran to and after wandering for a while, she was taken in by the owner of a brothel. Angel, as you would see, became a high-priced prostitute. Angel became a stone-cold wall of a lady who blocked herself from experiencing emotions and decided never to fall in love. And Michael, an upright man, who has decided to be celibate until the right one comes was instructed by God to marry her after he saw her taking her usual walk one afternoon. He was constantly discouraged by her rejection after he eventually married her by chance.
On this journey, Francine uses the five senses to make us glued to this book and we experience a lot of intriguing moments.
I particularly love this book because it carefully took me through the life of a badly hurt human; I saw myself in her. This story is relatable as it portrayed a typical human who has been hurt and is now offered love without having to work for it; feeling undeserving, we turn our back on it. Our minds have been conditioned to work to earn good things. We are mostly wary of gifts that we feel we don’t deserve. While this is true in some ways, it’s not so with the Gospel. Jesus paid this price for us and he just wants us to accept it as a gift. We are undeserving, yes, but He never sees us like that.
At a point, everyone is like Angel. We run away from our Michaels each time we are drawn by immeasurable love. Our past restrains us from trusting this love. We keep running. We are so proud and never get to the end of ourselves to fully bask in this love.
In a personal note, Francine told us her salvation story. She was born into a Christian family; her idea of salvation was wrong and she wasn’t able to live fully well. With her marriage almost crashing, writing became an escape route and only consolation.
Enough said: I don’t want to reveal so much information about the book. I want you to sit, read, and enjoy this beautiful piece that will transform your life.
I recommend this book to everyone, even believers.