Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers, is a hurricane of conflict in the human heart with love at it’s eye. With unshaking accuracy, Rivers details the experience of Christians everywhere through an unlikely love story. As humans, we are rebels and runaways by nature, but God pursues us with shameless persistence till the end to make us His bride.
In this story we are introduced to Michael Hosea, a humble farmer appointed by God by marry a prostitute named Angel. These characters are formed by the author to be a reflection of Christ and His church. Mr. Hosea representing Christ, and Angel symbolizing the church. Throughout this piece, there is in inner conflict within Angel due to the disconnect between her view or herself and Michaels view of her. Preoccupied with the shame of her past life, Angel wouldn’t allow her husband to be intimate with her emotionally, however, physically she offered herself to her husband many times. This reflects how we tend to give God our outward selves, our resources, but hold back from giving Him our inner selves, our hearts. But the Lord had already made a way. Angel was “free, [she] just didn’t know it yet” (Rivers 154).
Is this not a mirror of the Christian experience? God forgives, yet we hold on to our guilt and shame. God wants intimacy, yet we refuse. Praise the Lord that His pursuit of us doesn’t cease at our cold shoulders. Instead, He reassures us of the purity of His love for us, just as Michael Hosea reassures Angel that “love cleanses. It doesn’t beat you down. It doesn’t cast blame. [His] love isn’t a weapon. It’s a lifeline. Reach out and take hold…” (Rivers 189).
As time progresses and the pursuit persists, we witness a transformation in the heart of Angel. There is something about being shamelessly pursued that takes our hearts of stone and trades them for ones that beat again. Not only did Angel soften to the love of her husband, she also received and reciprocated the love of the Lord Jesus.
A thread of God’s loving provision is woven into each piece of this story. Slowly, through Michael Hosea, the Lord accomplishes his purpose in Angel and in us— to form us into His bride.
Rivers, Francine. “Redeeming Love: Francine Rivers: 9781590525135: Amazon.com: Books.” Amazon, Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Redeeming-Love-Francine-Rivers/dp/1590525132.