For the last four months, I have been trudging through the first four chapters of Hosea. Yes, I've only made it three pages into the biblical exposition of whoredom and unconditional love. But I've been in whoredom for four months and it gets depressing. It's like reading about Esther Greenwood's descent into depression and oppression in The Bell Jar without getting to last line when she steps into the room and knows that she is free.
The thing about biblical whoredom is it is completely inaccessible to the modern, post-modern, post-post-modern, or whatever type of un-categorical mind I have. Vibrant language describing one woman's deception against her husband and a people's deception of their God. I just don't get it. I know that Hosea loved his whore-wife, Gomer. I know that God doesn't just love the cookie-cutter youthworkers like me, but the people don't fit into society--the whores and their compatriots.
But then there is me. The not whore, not whore-compatriot, rather the cookie-cutter youthworker. I sometimes wonder what my non-compatriot, non-sensationalist lifestyle makes me in God's world.
What Hosea has taught me is that I am:
a) boring as hell
b) in need of some serious life examination
c) ready to get to the part where I walk into the room knowing I am free.
According to the first two points, I am a borderline pharisee. You know, the judgmental annoying creeps that taunted everyone that wasn't just like them in Jesus' time. That thought alone is enough to freak anyone out.
I read ahead (okay, so I am not actually reading Hosea, but examining each verse and cross referencing it with every similar or related passage in the biblia). I wanted to know when the room-entering would come. Chapter 11. I am seven chapters away. At this rate, I won't get there until March. But maybe I need that much time to get ready. I suppose that I can't control that.
I will keep trudging and I will keep asking why it is important for the boring cookie cutter to read through this, why it is important for me to understand a different side of God's love, and where it is taking me as I explain his love to other people.