Friday, April 11, 2008

Redeeming Love

Sarah was only 8, orphaned and penniless, when Duke introduced her to a life of prostitution. By the time she met Michael, she was a hardened veteran who believed there was no hope and no future.

But Michael was send by God and, in the end, that made all the difference.

I’ve just finished reading Francine Rivers’ book, Redeeming Love, the second romance novel I’ve read in my life. But this one gripped me in ways I didn’t expect.

First, the warnings. This is not a book for teenagers. Although there are no explicit scenes, the ugliness action of Sarah’s life is implied. Her story includes incest, vicious beatings, and hatred that will curdle your stomach. There is no bad language but there is sensuality between a husband and wife – again, not explicit but not something my teenager needs to read yet.

Rivers has woven a rich story about God’s tenacious love – and given a reminder that no one earns their way to his compassion. This is a re-telling of the prophet Hosea’s command to marry a prostitute, set in the 1850’s in California. There are twists upon twists but God’s redeeming love is threaded throughout the story.

Sarah is rescued from prostitution by Michael, but the story is really about her heart. Can she believe in love again? Can she open her heart to hope and commitment, or has she been forever ruined by the shame of her past?

But what especially struck me is that God even had provision for those twisted with self-righteous hate toward Sarah. Although their bitterness was palatable, God didn’t give up on them, either.

Redeeming Love will challenge your ideas on sin and redemption. That’s not a bad thing for followers of Jesus.


Anonymous said...

This book sounds great... I'll have to pick it up in all my spare time (haha)! It actually sounds like it fits in with some things I've gotten involved with lately. I'm working with a ministry for women that helps them through struggles in their lives and realizing their value to God. One of the small-group studies addresses redeeming our tears and regrets. I'm getting ready to start a faith-based domestic violence support group for the ministry. And you asked how the masters program is going... it's good, but keeping me busy and juggling!

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Now this was a GREAT book! I LOVED it and could really worship God all through it.
Much love,

Maxine said...

Now you've really whet my appetite. I've just GOT to find more time to read novels.

Debbie said...

I enjoyed this book very much - I love the Hosea story! However, I waited until after I was married to read this book (on the advice of my sisters)!


The Small Scribbler said...

One of my MOST favorite books! Powerful writing. Authors of Christian fiction could learn a thing or two from Francine Rivers.