Sierra Lutheran Church

Gomer

        My name is Gomer. I am married to a wonderful man who is a priest. Why he chose me to be his wife, I’ll never know. Let me tell you my story.

        I grew up in a poor home. My father was not an upright man in the community and we struggled. At a young age I became interest in men and flirted around a lot in the town square. Being with men was a major focus of mine and then along came Hosea.

        He was a holy, upright man, so gentle and so kind. And can you believe it! He had never, ever been with a woman when he married me.

        Oh what a day it was when we were married. The wedding, the celebration and the first year. For once I was secure and safe and loved. Soon Hosea and I conceived a boy child. We named him Jezreel. But soon caring for a baby and all of his needs along with the laundry and the cooking, the housework, and all of the chores—life was exhausting and drudgery. The safe, secure life became boring and painful to me. So, when I went into the marketplace I began to talk with some of my old men friends at the different booths as they called out my name. It felt good to be noticed by them again.

        Hosea is kind and tender but with him life was a humdrum compared to my old life of partying and flirting. Soon I began to go to the marketplace without Jezreel leaving him with Hosea or my mother-in-law, so that I could shop alone. Those visits led to relationships with men again. I needed some of the fun of my old life again.

        Then, along came my daughter, Lo-ruhamah. She didn’t look like Hosea at all—I said, “Oh, she looks like my grandmother’s family.” But in my heart I knew she looked like one of my lovers. Life went on, now with two little ones. The chores doubled, the crying increased, the workload, oh the workload was unberiable! My frustration increased so much that I would stay longer in the village, leaving behind my little ones more and more. More trysts, more trinkets from the men, more excitement and joy from the glances, pats and remarks. Then along came my second son, Lo-Ammi. There was no doubt that this little one was not Hosea as he was clearly from a different tribe. But Hosea said nothing. He loved each of them as if they were his.

        One day, I couldn’t take all of the burdens any more. The work of the three children, my husband, and the chores verses the offers of the men in the market place were pressing in on me. I left my home one day and did not return. The offers of one of the village men were too enticing. He offered me a party life and all of the excitement I so had missed. Oh the joy of this fun life again, helped me to quickly forget my children and Hosea. It got to the point where I didn’t even think of them anymore. We ate, we drank, and we partied hardy until one day he came home drunk with another woman on his arm. He yelled at me, “Get out!” “Get out?” I said, “Where shall I go?” “I don’t care, just get out.”

        So I left with only my clothes on my back and a little jewelry that he had given to me. I sold the jewelry to have food for awhile. I slept here and there, with men, under a tree, in a field, and wherever I could find a safe place until one day I was so hungry that I stole something. The owner caught me and had me arrested. I was then taken into the town square all torn and tattered to the slave auction. I stood there frightened and dejected, hungry and crying. My hair was dirty and full of bugs; my face was filthy and streaked, my teeth were rotting in my mouth; my clothes were dirty and torn. My self-worth was nothing.

        I stood there staring at the ground as men mocked me. It was difficult to stand upright as I was so hungry and exhausted. The men who had called out my name for favors in the past were not making fun of me. They were saying that I was worth mothering. The auctioneer asked for a bit, and no one spoke up.  One man yelled, “You pay me, and I’ll take her off your hands.” Finally a quiet voice said, “I’ll buy her for a penny.” Everyone laughed at that bit. Someone else said, “I’ll give you a bucket of hay and no more.” Then from the back of the crowd I heard a familiar voice speak out. I looked out into the crowd to see who was standing with his hands raised up, but Hosea. “He said, “I’ll pay 15 pieces of silver and 10 bales of barley.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The voices hushed and someone yelled, “You will what? Who said that?”

        Just then Hosea pushed the crowd aside and walked toward me saying again, “I’ll pay 15 pieces of silver and 10 bales of barley if you come and be my wife again.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I stood in a daze for a moment as he walked forward. He handed over the silver to the auctioneer and stepped up to me. Then he said, “Gomer, come home, we miss you. Come home.”

        I still couldn’t believe it, that had to be all of Hosea’s money and barley we needed to feed our animals. I nodded and stepped forward to him. My husband had redeemed my life!! I am his, not his slave, but his wife. Why would a man do such a thing? Why? Maybe it is out of love.

Remove my headpiece.

God is like that with each of us, we too are no better than Gomer. Our attractions may not be other me, trinkets, or the party life, but we all have things that woo us from what God has given us. But Christ has paid the price, dear sisters. Yes indeed He has paid the price for each and every one of us.

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