I am grateful for the passages in Hosea because, well, I guess they resonate with me. Passages like:
And I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees, of which she said, ‘These are my wages, which my lovers have given me.’
Because whether from my past, present, or even the things I hope for in the future, I can imagine myself firmly planting my wages, my worth, that my lovers and idols have given me. I’ll tenderly display my rings and jewelry, beaming over my accomplishments and even failures, if they’ve taught me anything. Perhaps the most twisted is when I wonder why I don’t have more in wages.
And then passages like:
Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.
Passages like these make my chest feel tight. Because even in the fullness of lovers and satisfaction of idols, who doesn’t want to be spoken to tenderly in the wilderness where you have nothing, can bring nothing, can carry nothing. You have nothing to show for the tenderness lavished upon you, and yet there you are. Your crazy hair, dirty face, sweat-stained clothes, and someone speaking tenderly to you.