Would I change the ending?
A number of readers want to know why I stripped Angel at the end of the story. There is a simple answer to this and a more complex one. The simple answer is I wanted Angel to be like Eve before she offered the fruit to Adam, naked and right with God. When I accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord, I entered into a relationship with God that was like the one in the Garden. I entered into a personal relationship. I could walk with Him and talk with Him and hear His quiet voice through Scripture.
The more complex answer is Angel was shedding all the things that had happened to her, the events that had encased her heart in stone. She was casting off the past, the influence of others who had betrayed and used her, her helplessness, her anger, pain, stubbornness, her fear of giving any part of herself—especially the core of her being–to anyone. She had to strip all that away layer by layer.
When I first read the book of Hosea (during our Tuesday evening home Bible study), I was blown away by God’s passionate love for His people. Like Angel, I used to think God was watching and waiting for me to mess up. He couldn’t wait to crush me. Of course, I hadn’t read the entire Bible yet. It was the Prophet Hosea’s story that made me interested enough to do so. And then I discovered how every book in the Bible shows God’s love, how man continually and wantonly betrays Him, what kind of discipline it takes to make them turn around, and how far God will go to redeem His beloved.
How could I have missed a love like that? In truth, I hadn’t bothered to look or investigate. I hadn’t read His story. Now that I have, I’m in love with Him. And that love just keeps growing.
What I wanted to accomplish by writing Redeeming Love was to make people long for the kind of love Michael Hosea offers. He’s a pale reflection of God’s love, a paltry example. God is passionate and fierce. He is zealous for us. He created us to be in an intimate relationship with Him. He’s been called “the hound of heaven”, pursuing us with His love.
And I’m whole-heartedly thankful I belong to Him, that I am indwelled by His Holy Spirit and part of His Body. And I can’t wait to be stripped bare of every sin and transformed into the likeness of His Son, Jesus, who made it possible.