Let's Get 'Reel!
By Donna Emery
A blog by Jezreel, house of Hosea…
Well, guys and gals: you totally won't believe what my dad's done now.
He's done some wild stuff before, but this one really tops them all. In case you don't read my blog on a regular basis, let me give you the 411 on my story. It's important that you know the whole thing so you can understand how whacked this thing is.
My old man's name is Hosea. He's a preacher who's made a name for himself in the Northern Kingdom as a prophet. The way I heard it from him is that God told him to marry my mom.
If you're from around here, you've probably heard of my mom. Her name is Gomer, and yeah, I know what everyone says. Unfortunately, it's true. Dad says God warned him that Mom would be unfaithful, even before he married her. I wanna tell you, that would have done it for me. I wouldn't marry some chick who was going to play me like that. But Dad did. He said that at first he chose her because God said so, but as time went by he fell in love with her.
People say she used to be a babe. Dad says they were happy together when they first got married. I was their firstborn. Who knows why they saddled me with a name like Jezreel? It's a pretty cruddy deal to have your name mean "castaway." But my sister, Loruhamah, and brother, Loammi, are even worse off. Her name means "no pity," and his means "not my people."
The story goes that they were happy at first, but Mom couldn't hack it, so she split. Dad wasn't happy, but what could he do? So he allowed her to get a divorce. If you know my dad, you know that divorce is a pretty extreme move for him, so she must have really put the screws to him.
After she left we began hearing those rumors about her. You know the ones … how she's giving it up for any dude with some mulled wine or some spare cash. Eventually she got tired of partying and began living with some loser.
The thing I never understood was that Dad has never stopped loving her. What kind of a guy loves a woman who betrays him? What kind of a man can find something to love in a woman like that?
In a way I admire Dad, but I have to tell you, I also was ashamed. The things they said in town about my mom … and yet he wouldn't let us talk trash about her. He reminded us she was still our mom. When I asked him how he could love her, he told me that love is a choice. He compared his choice to love Mom to the choice that God makes every day with the nation of Israel. All the stuff that us Jews and our leaders have done; yet, God never gave up on Israel. In the same way, Dad said he'd never give up on Mom. I guess talk like that is what I get for having a dad who's a preacher.
Well, Dad didn't give up on Mom. He kept up with where she was and what she was doing. He'd go and watch her in the marketplace or walk by the place she was staying, just to be sure she was OK.
I guess he heard she wasn't doing so well because one day he went to the loser and gave him some money to help him take care of her. And what does she do? She gave the money to buy sacrifices to Baal. And even then, Dad still loved her!
That just floored me. Here she is flaunting her adultery in his face, and even worshiping pagan gods, and he stays loyal. I figured my dad was loony tunes-or else he really does love her. All he said was that he loved her, no matter what. It reminds me of how God keeps loving us-no matter what.
So Dad was doing this stuff for her, and us kids were doing the best we could without a mom for all this time. This morning we woke up, and guess who was here? It was Mom! Can you believe it? After everything she'd done, he'd brought her home. And it gets even nuttier: the way he did it was that the loser had gotten tired of her and thrown her out. She was getting ready to be auctioned off like a slave and Dad found out and bought her freedom. And then he brought her home. She looked about as appealing as a leper and she smelled like a dung heap.
I don't know what to do. This is my mom, but I don't feel anything but contempt for a woman who'd play my dad like that. He's a decent guy-even though I gotta say this makes him look like a real fool. And when I think of how she left us kids to fend for ourselves… Dad took great care of us but we could have used a mom.
So here she is, and here's Dad looking like some teenage geek swooning at the queen or something. He gave her a bath and put clean new clothes on her. He actually told her that he wants her to stay forever and that she'd never be a harlot again. He promised to be faithful to her. I just couldn't believe my ears. And the look in her eyes was like a starving child who's been brought into a room full of food.
Well that's it, and I don't totally know how I feel about it yet. Part of me wants to tell her to hit the road and never come back. I mean … she left us once; what's to say she's not going to get healthy, grab some of Dad's shekels and take off again? But there's a part of me that says I'm seeing something that means more than just my dad and my mom getting a second chance for love.
This morning Mom couldn't stop crying as she walked around the house; her eyes never lost that look of wonder and gratitude. She told us she's so humbled by Dad's love and that she's chosen to stay here. I can't even believe she's got a choice, but that's what Dad told her.
Well, it's beyond me. There's a part of me that says if I watch them I'll learn more about the kind of love that God wants all of us to have for each other. I know I couldn't love somebody this way, but maybe if she stays long enough, I might just learn from them.
(You can read the whole story of Hosea and Gomer in Hosea 1-3)
Donna Emery is a nurse and teacher from Central Pa. She loves to use the gift of writing to tell stories that have uplifting and enjoyable topics. If you enjoyed Jezreel's blog, why not send Donna a quick message through the Letters page of this magazine.