When I was younger I was a little repelled by reading the book of Hosea. I found the story unsavory on many levels, the man being asked to seek out, marry and forgive his whorish wife. At first, it offended my innocence and then it offended my feminist spirit. I could not relate to its language and metaphor for Divine/human love and relationship. But somewhere along the way I began to really get it. Maybe after I lived more and gained perspective or maybe during my own awakening to Divine Love. Regardless, I have become so grateful to the author of Hosea and for its Divine inspiration.
Thus says the Lord: I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart..I will espouse you to me forever: I will espouse you in right and in justice, in love and in mercy.
All that we need to know about Divine desire for us and the nature of our relationship is right there in those words. Allure means to enchant, captivate, entrance. God means to win us back by drawing us into the silence of the desert, the emptiness where nothing can distract or compete for our attention. There in the abyss God wishes to speak to our hearts in love and in mercy.
It is shocking at first, this view of God and us. We have been so brainwashed to feel guilt and shame, to let our unworthiness lead us to hide from God and from our own divine nature. But who would try to enchant or captivate one who was unworthy or beyond hope or redemption?
Instead God’s plan is to bring us to a place where we can be heart to heart. The language of the heart is gentle and kind and merciful. So let’s stop playing those tapes over and over, the ones that accuse, judge and find us lacking and guilty. Let’s stop believing the lies that limit us and deny our true nature as beloved. Let’s instead hear, feel and believe these words. Let us allow them to melt our defenses today and find a home in our heart:
I will espouse you to me forever.