I will show my love to the one I called “Not my loved one.” I will say to those called “Not my people,” “You are my people”; and they will say, “You are my God” (Hosea 2:23 NIV).
For well-known author Anne Lamott, life was full of sinful pursuits and relational ruins. In so many ways, she was seeking God in all the wrong places. She wrote about her journey toward faith and how she came to understand God’s grace.
When her despair caused her to ask a pastor what it meant to be “saved,” he gave this answer: “It’s like discovering you’re on the shelf of a pawnshop – dusty and forgotten and not feeling very worthy, when Jesus walks in and says, I’ll take her place on the shelf – let her go out in the sun.”
Ann Lamott is still on a journey of faith. Those who know her life acknowledge it has lots of twists and turns. But through that pastor, she started down a new path toward a new life in the sun.
God used her destitution and despair not only to show the futility of past paths, but also to reveal that he is willing to take those who think of themselves as “Not God’s people,” and make them his.
That’s the same message for us. Jesus took our place in the darkness and dirt of the cross and put us on a new path in his light. So, even if we think of ourselves as “Not God’s loved one,” when we say, “You are my God,” he says, “You are mine.”
Lord, thank you for taking me off a dusty shelf and putting me in the sunshine of your grace! I praise you that when I thought I was “Not your loved one,” Jesus took my place so that you now say to me, “You are mine.”