This morning I ran across a six-part video series [Dallas Theological Seminary, via Irving Bible Church, h/t @RickSmith] beautifully dramatizing the story of Hosea in modern terms. The videos are short, between 2.5 - 3.5 mins each. There is no dialogue. They are powerful.
Hosea's story resonates pretty deeply with Kristina and I. His love for Gomer — Christ's love for us — was the grace I grabbed hold of last June when Kristina left me. Out of the 12 people who might read this, half of you already know what I'm talking about. I've never told the story publicly, though, and I think it's time you other six heard it.
Our story, like all stories of redemption, is long and complicated, too much so for a blog post. Kristina's part in the story is hers to tell in her way and her time (you'll find her blogging occasionally at kristinamelton.com).
I don't intend to gloss over my sin, but I sure don't want to glorify it, either. So, I'll try to sum up my part: I was unfaithful to Kristina a few years ago. The rest was death by papercut. BOOM.
I came home from work June 24, 2011, to an empty house, a note on the door, and a card for her lawyer. She'd filed for divorce and she'd moved out, with our then-two-year old daughter Aylin, without warning.
Kristina had made it very clear that she was not interested in reconciliation. But the first Scripture God took me to was the book of Hosea:
The Lord’s Love for Unfaithful Israel
14 “But then I will win her back once again.
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her there.
15 I will return her vineyards to her
and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope.
She will give herself to me there,
as she did long ago when she was young,
when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.
It was clear that God was calling me to extend by faith the invitation to reconciliation, knowing that the invitation was hers to accept or reject. After several weeks — it seemed like months — Kristina forgave me, asked me to put her wedding ring on her finger again, and asked me to move in with her and Aylin in Bentonville.
The journey hasn't been easy, and it's never really over, is it? But it has been — and will continue to be — a beautiful example of what grace can do. Without Jesus — without you folks, His Body, carrying us, broken-hearted and weeping, wounded and bleeding profusely — we'd just be another divorce statistic. Instead, we get to reflect the glory of a risen Savior, who redeemed us by His sacrifice while we were yet in sin.
Proclaiming freedom to the captives, indeed.