Author’s Note: This meditation is based on Psalm 51 and Hosea 1 & 2. In the Book of Hosea, God asks the prophet Hosea to take a prostitute as his wife, and Hosea does so. This corresponds to God’s relationship with the Israelites, his chosen people, who had fallen away from their faith and worshiped false idols. Hosea remains faithful to his wife, despite her unfaithfulness to him, just as God remains faithful to Israel, despite their idolatry. This meditation is told from the wife’s point-of-view.
Meditation for Ash Wednesday
“Into the Desert”
I am a wife – a tainted, unfaithful wife. I was a harlot – selfish and unsure.
Then, I met a Man. And, He married me; even though He knew who I was – who I am still. Though, I try not to be.
I try to pursue my old lovers, but I cannot overtake them. I try to seek them, but I cannot find them.
I know my ways are shameful, and my soul, unclean.
I want to be purified, to be forgiven – to be loved. To be a wife – true, faithful, and pure; to be a mother – attentive, loving, unselfish.
So, He takes me; allures me; leads me … into the desert … into the wilderness. To be cleansed with water; to be purified by fire; to be made holy through His Spirit.
He and I are bound together, connected. A string – solid and bright – connects His Heart to mine, and mine to His. It is a strong cord, but I can break it. When I do, He bleeds inwardly. I bleed also, but He heals me and restores the cord once more.
As He leads me over the dunes, into the crusty, dirty stretch of silence, I know I could break away from Him. I could snap the cord once more and flee. What if I do not want to follow Him into this desert, this wilderness… this silence?
But I do. Because He loves me, and we are connected. I am drawn to follow Him – out of love. An imperfect love. A flimsy, fleeting love. It is not strong and steady like His Love. But it is there, and it strengthens, slowly and surely with each passing moment.
He draws me into the silence of the wilderness… to speak to my heart.
To blot out my transgression with His Compassion and cleanse me from my sin.
To clean me that I may be pure; to wash me, that I may be whiter than snow.
To create a clean heart for me and renew within me a steadfast spirit.
To restore me to the gladness of His Salvation and uphold me with His Spirit.
To open my lips, that my mouth may proclaim His praise.
To accept the sacrifice of my contrite Spirit.
So, I follow Him into the desert… To be cleansed and purified. And, to grow closer to Him. To become one with Him.
May these days in the desert help me to become one with Him. Amen +CHS