Her face ground into the gravel as he kicked her again. "Get up, you filthy dog!" The auctioneer's rough hands grabbed her by her bound arm, pulling her to her feet. Unable to hide her nakedness from the prying eyes of the crowd, Gomer closed her eyes and retreated to her thoughts. She hadn't always been this way, a prostitute, on the market to be bought by the highest bidder. There was a man who loved her once upon a time. He knew her shortcomings, he knew her past, yet he had married her and given her a home. Hosea was his name... Why did I leave him, she questioned. Why did I follow the lusts and desires burning in my heart? She hadn't seen him in so long, she was sure he had forgotten about her. "Sold!" The auctioneer's voice broke into her thoughts as he pushed her away and reached for the next girl. As she fell, she felt strong arms encircle her. Gentle hands unbound her wrists and a comforting voice whispered, "It'll be alright Gomer. I'm here now." He had said her name! Opening her eyes, Gomer looked into the face of Hosea. "I love you!" he was saying. "Let's go home."

Like Gomer, many of us fell in love with Someone once upon a time. He knew our shortcomings and our past, yet He loved us too. Perhaps, however, things have crept in between us and we have left Him to follow the lusts and desires of our hearts. Maybe the things that have separated us are so big we don't even know if He remembers us. Or maybe the things that have separated us are so small we hadn't even noticed. Either way, God promises to buy us back; to redeem us. Isaiah 43:1 says, "Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine." Can you hear his voice right now, saying your name? Look into His face as he says, "I love you! Let's go home."

Feeling eternally loved,

Pastor Sutherland

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