On Wednesday nights I participate in a women's Bible study. I'm the lone Orthodox in the group and one other person is heading towards Rome even as we speak. The rest of the crowd are of the Emergent persuasion. Is that protestant? They do seem to be protesting many things, but things different than Luther and Zwingli and those guys. Defies categorization.
It doesn't matter. We have some good talks and good fellowship and some good good good delving into the Prophet Hosea.
Boy, there sure are some zingers in that book, let me tell ya!
And I know it was directed, originally, to the idolatrous and unrepentant Northern Kingdom of Israel. I know this.
So how come I keep finding myself in those pages, as well. My faithfulness is also like a vapor. I say that I'll press on the seek the Lord and then my zeal fizzles out. This happens over and over again. I guess I'll just keep pressing on. Doh!
And I KNOW there are idols in my heart. Ones I have not even begun to see yet.
One prayer that the priest prays over the penitent during the sacrament of repentance (confession) is for the light granted in this confession to shed further light on sins yet uncovered. That's putting it in my own words, but you get the idea.
I always have this mental image of my heart being like the grand canyon, with lots of twists and turns. And I'm traveling down at the bottom, in the dark with a lantern. Each confession is a step forward, and a bit of light is cast. But only God knows the depths of my heart, and only God knows what lurks in the darkness.
Because each and every time I go, there's always then more to be uncovered down the road. Step by step by step.
That's why the book of Hosea is all about me. I'm learning, slowly, that my heart really is that black, and twisty. And there are things that matter far to much to me that a month ago I never would even have contemplated to be a problem...but the light of one confession sheds its rays into a new corner. Some healing over here suddenly reveals the sickness over there.
You know, like if you have two things hurting at once, the bigger one is all you notice until that heals and then you see the other thing. It's like that.
And I KNOW for a fact it's not just me. We are all the same, aren't we?