Friday, July 19, 2013

Redeeming Love

by Francine Rivers
Multnomah Books

It is the 1850 in California, and the gold rush is well underway. Men are in overabundance, and the few women that reside there live in brothels and pleasure palaces. Angel is one such woman, though not by choice. Sold to a man in a brothel as a child, she barely remembers the happier days before her mother died. She is haunted by memories of her father, her broken-hearted mother, her cruel grandparents and life in the enchanting little cottage before everything went wrong.  

The only thing that keeps her alive is her hatred. Hatred towards the man who bought her, hatred towards the men she is forced to take care of, and hatred towards God Himself for giving her life and then keeping her alive. Even after she is free of her original master, she ends up in Pair-A-Dice working in another brothel because she knows no other way to live. 

Then Michael Hosea rides into town. Intrigued by the cold, hard, icy demeanor of a woman so young and beautiful, he is compelled by Someone greater than himself to seek her out and marry her. It is a mission that he himself is scarcely prepared to carry out. Despite Michael's tender love for the prostitute he only knows as "Angel" and his patience in waiting for her to be ready to receive his love as it was meant to be - she continually runs away from him. Again and again she leaves Michael behind. At first, she leaves him because she doesn't want to belong to another man. Then she leaves him because she loves him. Will Michael ever be able to demonstrate God's love to a woman who refuses to see the truth and be helped? And will Angel ever willingly receive love from the Father who will never let her down? 

I read this book ten years ago, and it is just the kind of book you want to read over and over again. No matter what point you are in your life, this book is such a wonderful reminder that God's love for us never changes, expires, or wavers. Angel is the lowest of the low, yet God raises her up to be the woman He intended her to be. Obviously, one has questions as to how God allows horrible things to happen to people. But God has a plan in everything, and no matter what happens in our lives, God is there, He is watching, and He is in control. Rivers has written a book that is for everybody, regardless of age, race, denomination, or sex. It will open your eyes to God's love and will remind you that no matter what, God is always present. 

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