Hosea called out to her. She merely looked but she wouldn’t come down. He tried to grab her but the owner of the brothel intervened.
“Who are you?”
“Sir, I am here for my wife.” Hosea said to the owner.
“You? Is that your wife?” Inquired the owner.
“Yes sir,” he replied.
“I see.” the owner replied coarsely. “She came here on her own will. Whether she is married to you or not, I will not allow her to leave until she agrees to do so.”
Any man would have smashed the man’s face right then and there. How dare he? That’s his wife he was talking about. That’s his! How dare he try to prevent him from it. However, a voice louder than Hosea’s entered his thoughts. Win her over, Hosea.
It didn’t take long for him to process whose voice this was. He knew his God and he knew His voice. He trusted this voice.
“I understand. If I succeed, you will allow me to take her?”
“Yes, but with a price.”
“I will pay any price.”
So day after day, Hosea went to the brothel to court his wife. Some days he brought flowers, other days he brought her favourite dishes. Sometimes they would talk. Sometimes she had clients. Sometimes she would inquire of their children but their conversations were often short and awkward. Yet, she became responsive by the day.
Then, one day, he was able to ask the question that was nagging him all along.
“Gomer, why did you leave? Why did you return to this life?”
“Hosea, I do not deserve you. I do not deserve the love and attention that you are giving me. For the longest time, even after I bore our children, I felt that I was in a dream and this was too good to be true.”
“But Gomer…” he interrupted.
“Hosea, this life keeps on calling out to me.”
“Gomer, how long will you turn away? How long will you fail to see that there is a love that is true?” Here he knelt down and cried. “Does love have to have a reason? Why can’t you understand that I just love you. Do whatever you want but I will still try my best to win you over. You sleep with any other man, and they may treat you like nothing but I wanted to show you that I am not one of them. You are something to me. You are mine and by God’s will I will do anything to keep it that way!”
He saw tears in her eyes. Here was a woman he loved with all his heart. Here was the woman who was given to her by God and was instructed to be won over. Despite everything that she did, he still loved her. God is this how you felt for all those times we humans turned away? It feels so awful, yet you still loved us.
“Will you come with me now, Gomer?” He softly asked.
With tears in her eyes, she nodded a yes. He immediately went to the owner and paid the price. It was hefty almost the price of a two years’ salary, but Hosea didn’t care. He loved this woman too much to leave her in this sinful place. God with your guidance, this is it.
He brought her home and cleaned her up. He fed her. He dressed her up. She allowed him to do all these. All the while she was too dazed to speak. She was powerless. Then in her mind a thought whispered softly, See this love woman, this is the love that I have for you. Everything Hosea has done, I have done to you. Rest and be assured of my love.
“What did I do to deserve this?” She calmly asked one day.
“Nothing. I have loved you because that is what I am. That is what the Lord made me.” He said in reply.
“But I was unfaithful. I kept on running away. I kept on going after other men. Why are you like this?”
“How can I turn away from you?” He answered her softly. “How can I leave you like the other men that were before me? You are my wife and I am your husband. I may be angry at times for those things but I still love you. No matter how far you run away, no matter who you are with, I know that it is because of them that you are like this. I am always here to forgive you as God forgives those who run away from Him because it is God’s love for me and you that fuels me to love you.”
“I am so sorry, Hosea. I love you too.” She whispered to him softly. “Help me not to run away again.”
“I will, Gomer.” He whispered back. “As long as God loves all of us, so shall I love you.”
This story is based on the book of Hosea.