Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I'm not a crier.

I do cry.

But, I try to not make it a common practice.

I do find as I've gotten older, I've gotten a tad more sensitive. I'm sure it's the hormones.

Now when it comes to the things of God and me talking about the things He's done for me ... waterworks have been known to happen.

One of the things that rarely makes me cry is a book. And, I say "rarely" because I can tell you the two books (aside from the Bible) that have made me tear up: Max Lucado's Next Door Savior and Francis Chan's Crazy Love.

That's it. I've never found a book that moved me in such a manner.

Until now ...

I wept yesterday.

Wept. Not cried. Wept.

When I read a specific chapter in this book.

I was hesitant in reading it to begin with because I don't like fiction.

My legalistic tendencies lead me to think this way: "If I'm going to spend valuable time reading, it should be the Bible, or something that will actually help me in my walk with the Lord. Fiction would be a waste of time. I could be spending more time with the Lord."

Dumb, warped thinking. I know. Just giving you a little insight into how my mind works sometimes. CURRRRAZY!

The book is a historical romance set in the 1850s and is inspired by the book of Hosea. If you know anything about that book, you know it's a rough one. If you recall, God tells the prophet, Hosea, to marry a prostitute. The whole book of Hosea is a picture of God's redeeming love for sinners ... for us.

Yep. God compares you and me to a prostitute.

And, honestly, it's an accurate comparison.

We were all far away from Him at one time. 

We were so lost and broken before Him.

 And, there are still times that we struggle to really serve Him.

The prostitute that Hosea makes his wife leaves him and goes back to the lifestyle she once knew and struggles to live the renewed life she was freely given. We do the same.

We struggle to live the life God wants for us because of our own hurt, pain, thoughts, and desires. There's always something or someone trying to lure us back to where we were before, proclaiming that we're not worthy to receive the gift we have and will never be good enough for it.

I love how God speaks to me then.

I love you so much. You are my daughter. 
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (I John 3:1)

Now, back to why I cried.

It was the image of "Hosea" (really Jesus) sitting down, head in his hands, weeping for me. For my sins, for my struggle, for my pain, for my battle.

The thought of me breaking His heart day-after-day breaks mine.

I felt desperation. 

Desperate for holiness and purity. To be desperate for Him more than my own selfishness.

I highly recommend this book. 

It may make me reconsider my no-fiction-reading policy.



Christine Poole said...

Francine Rivers has a few other books that are equally compelling and thought provoking.

Becky said...

I have said for years that that is the best fiction book i've ever read. Ever. I still believe it.

And I agree with Christine. Francine Rivers has several other good ones, but I would say that this is her masterpiece for sure.

Tammy said...

It's funny how through these blogs we are able to realize how alike we are with other people. I too only read the Bible and those "spiritual growth" books. I also thought it would be a waste to read fictional books when I could spend my time growing. Not realizing that I can grow in a fictional book as well. (Except for The Shack...which is my favorite book thus far. I had moments with this book that I had to stop reading and hold my face in my hands sobbing with my entire body.) And just for the record...you made me cry with this blog post. I actually want to go out and get THAT book now. Thank you!

Tara said...

I read this (for the first time) in college. I stayed up all night reading and even skipped class the next day because I couldn't stop. I agree, this is her masterpiece. I cried through just about the entire book.

You should check out her Mark of the Lion series next. The first two books in that series will twist your heart around.

Jill said...

I've read this book two or three times, and I just love it. I love how it shows in such an obvious way at how much God loves us and wants good for us.

Kari said...

Yep. I cried in the midst of reading it. The analogy of our untrusting, wandering heart and God's eternal, relentless love brings me to tears. Of repentance.

Sara said...

I have never read A Francine Rivers book.
I cry watching David Tutera's 'My Fair Wedding' show.
I am a literal person. Fiction to me is fiction. A Story. Something someone thought of and wrote down for entertainment or enjoyment an escape.
I don't know if I'll read this: the last time I read something that was raved over was the Shack. I never finished it. It took me 3 years to finish Oprah's book choice Anna Karinina, but I finished IT. Could NOT finish the Shack.
What I love about blogging is that we learn from each other, even when our preferences are different.
Sometimes we are drawn to each other exactly for those differences.
You say you don't enjoy reading...and that is all I want to do is read a good book. :)
I HATE running and yet I kow a ton of bloggers who are runners!
and I love your opinions ;)

Ramblin' Red said...

I read this book when my husband and I were really struggling in our marriage due to habitual sins in his life. It made me see myself in the same way that you wrote about seeing yourself, and made me rethink the hardness in my heart toward him.

Saved our marriage.

Renewed my connection with the Savior.


Amy@My Front Porch said...

That is one of my absolute FAVORITE books of all time. I highly recommend anything by Francine Rivers -- her fiction is worth the time :)

Katie@The Baby Factory said...

Oh lady, if you're not done with this book.....you're not done cryin' :)

I was lessened to tears....weaping tears many times throughout this book. And like you, not because of the story, but the symbolism. And looking at my hard heart.

And Ramblin' Red's comment.....praise God. Wow. I am at a loss for words.

jennyonthespot said...

I read this book quite awhile ago, and I agree... it was incredible. Time well spent :)