She sauntered as she walked down the street. Left hip struck out boldly as the right dipped and swayed. The tarnished silver medallions on her belt jangled. The sun highlighted her thin outfit. Her eyes sparkled. Or were those tears? The answer came as she took a slow drink from the bottle in her hand. She was drunk.
Women with fully covered heads, breasts, and stomachs pulled back as she went by. Disdain. Disgust. Grabbing their young sons, spitting over their shoulders. God forbid. May she never have my boy.
She rounded a corner and collapsed in solitude. Her body felt satiated. Her soul felt tired. Her mind was fuzzy, and she remembered when she used to count her partners. She had stopped. A long time ago. This was who she was. Both disgusted and elated at her latest victory. She loved and hated who she was. It just felt so good. And yet it tasted so bad.
She leaned her head back and closed her eyes. Silence. Alone.
A gentle throat clear.
Eyes cracked, she looked up. The sun was behind his head, and his features were blurry. Maybe because of the wine. She took another sip.
Gently, he stretched out his hand.
“Come. You are weary. I will give you rest.”
An eye roll. She had heard that before. But she grasped his wrist, and he pulled her to her feet.
Looking deep into her eyes, he asked, “Will you... will you marry me?”
She snorted. Wine burned her nose, and she wiped her face with her sleeve, “Listen. I don’t know what you’ve heard, but that’s not really necessary. You don’t have to promise anything. I get what this is.”
He smiled. Sadly. Hopefully. “I would actually like to be engaged to you. And marry you.”
“I want to remove all the other men from your thoughts. I want to bring you peace. I want you to sleep in safety. I want you to be mine forever. I want to bind you to my soul with righteousness, steadfast love, and faithfulness. I want to show you who I am.”
It was probably the alcohol. No man really wanted her. She knew this. They wanted her parts. Her body. Not her. But it sounded so nice... and he seemed so sincere. And she was so very tired.
He was still holding her hand.
Almost without knowing it, her grasp tightened around his. She nodded.
The wedding had been spectacular. White everywhere. She sat above the crowd, robed in white, gleaming with oils, beautiful. Perfect. Peaceful. She remembered thoughts flitting through her mind, “I shouldn’t be here.” But he had seemed to know when that happened, and had always reached over to squeeze her hands. They had talked about this.
“I chose you. That’s all that matters. You didn’t earn this because you didn’t have to. I wanted to pick you. So I did.”
She always smiled weakly at the end of his argument and nuzzled into his arms.
The sun gleamed on the white bedspread. She stretched in the sun puddle and yawned luxuriously.
A quiet knock at the door.
A familiar face came around the door, “Hello, darling.”
She sat bolt upright. Back rigid. One of her familiar men. Just standing there. He had popped his first two buttons, and he had that three-day scruff across his chin.
She felt her heart quicken.
Almost without thinking, without realizing, without remembering the husband who had just left her, she stretched out her hand and smiled the old, slow smile.
“Why, hello, handsome...”
He found her late that night. Curled under the stairs, sobbing. Her puffy red eyes cracked open as he crawled in next to her. She put out shaking hands to push him away. But that same calm grip that had rescued her in the streets grabbed her hands once again.
“I did it. Again.”
“ I know.”
She looked down at his faithful hands. She carefully traced the scars as she rested her forehead against his.
“Are you sorry?”
“Sorry for what?”
“Sorry that you picked me?”
He didn’t answer right away. He pushed back her damp hair, and looked quietly into her eyes.
“No. I will never be sorry.”
She shook her head in disbelief, fresh tears spilling over.
“I will never be sorry. You see, darling, this is bigger than you. I love you because my Father delights in rescuing. He delights in love. He delights in ransoming you from the darkness and filth you have known.”
She fingered his scars, the deep holes in his palms.
“And because my Father delights in this... I do to. Because he loves you, I love you. Forever. And always. I have made you my own.”
As the Easter week draws to its climactic end, we often forget why Christ died. The temptation is to view ourselves as supremely lovable. And if we were a little scraggly at salvation, we’re proud of how well we’ve cleaned ourselves up after some Bible knowledge and church attendance.
The truth is, we were deeply unlovable sin whores. And even after being rescued, redeemed, and ransomed, we still stumble back into our old, disgusting habits. Hosea 1:2 makes it quite clear that any desertion of the Lord is like being a prostitute. But Hosea 2:17-20 makes it very clear that God will keep pursuing us with the tantalizing, ruthless pursuit of steadfast love and righteousness. This is what He did with Christ. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (I John 4:10)
May a peek at the depths of your unlovable soul fill you with peace and joy this Easter as you wonder and rest in the steadfast love of your Bridegroom.