I’m thrilled to have one of my favorite authors here today to share about her new book. Mesu Andrews just released Love in a Broken Vessel (which I gushed about on the blog yesterday). Let’s get some additional insight behind Mesu’s vision for the book.
The Truth About Gomer…
Do you have a “bucket list?” You know, a list of things you want to experience before you see Jesus face-to-face? In my younger years I wanted to skydive. I’m rethinking that one. Now that a roller coaster hoists my stomach into my eyeballs, a hot-air-balloon ride sounds daring enough.
Here’s an activity that might not have made it to your list…Have you ever met a prostitute? I don’t mean noticed a prostitute on the street. I mean, have you actually talked with someone who must sell herself to survive?
Most people reading this post probably haven’t. Me either.
But while writing Love in a Broken Vessel, I was forced to imagine what it might have been like to be a prostitute—namely, Gomer—in ancient Israel, 750 BCE:
“…the LORD said to [Hosea], ‘Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD.’ So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.” Hosea 1:2-3
The first truth I learned about Gomer: She was Diblaim’s daughter. She’d been a little girl—not always a prostitute. But someone used her. Broke her. And she became what she was.
Because Hosea represents Yahweh in the story, he was, of course, loving toward Gomer—as our God is loving toward His people. Hosea was forgiving, as God is forgiving. And Hosea grew angry, as our God grows angry when His people betray and disobey Him. These were the predictable moments of Love in a Broken Vessel.
But as I wrote about Gomer, the truth was neither predictable nor pretty. I found her becoming angrier and more indignant with God and Hosea.
Why, when they’re trying to give you a better life?
I sat at my keyboard, arguing with this unruly character, trying to convince her to cheer up! Be more thankful! (Authors are a little strange, if you hadn’t picked up on that yet…)
And then I realized why Gomer was angry:
- Marriage yanked away her sense of independence. Prostitution was hard, but at least in prostitution, she had control of her own survival.
- Hosea prophesied incessantly about his prostitute wife. Was she nothing to him—or Yahweh—but a sermon illustration?
- God instructed Hosea to give her children awful names, reminders of their questionable parentage: “Unloved” and “Not my people.”
As I pondered Gomer’s anger, the most shocking truths about her became the most shocking truths…about me.
- I’m the one who hates to release control of my life to the LORD.
- I’m the one who whines when life gets too hard.
- I’m the one who pities those I deem overburdened.
This novel, like Love Amid the Ashes and Love’s Sacred Song, has several themes woven through its pages. Hopefully, one will grab your heart at precisely the right moment. The theme that pierced my own heart was God’s Word redefining my understanding of prostitution:
“There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land… A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the Lord.” Hosea 4:1, 5:4
The truth about Gomer is the truth about me—and you. Gomer was a wife, who lived like a prostitute. And though I’ve been saved by God’s grace—making me a Bride of Christ—I must choose which way I’ll live. Do I separate myself, keeping God in a neat compartment, taking Him out when I want to use or accuse Him? Or do I choose to live with Him in love and faithfulness, acknowledging Him in all things…In good times and bad, in sickness and in health, as my faithful and just Redeemer, my Husband, my One True God.
You can keep in touch with Mesu through her website where she regularly blogs and posts devotionals.