Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Valentine (05/16/05)
TITLE: The Runaway Bride
By John Hunt
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Her flight came at the height of passion’s embrace, the fruition of their matrimony together, but really its impetus began long ago. In truth, the young woman’s wayward spirit led her away many times – away from the arms that longed to hold her, away from the eyes that gazed fondly upon her, away from the heart that held within it the beating, undying love of a faithful man.
News of the young woman’s exodus quickly spread across the country. Labeled The Runaway Bride (among many other colorful euphemisms) she remained oblivious to the public scrutiny. She neither desired, nor welcomed, nor entertained the media attention; nonetheless, the populace reveled in the spectacle. Most openly criticized her life and secretly ridiculed her fiancé. She became known as the harlot – and he, the fool.
Invariably the woman returned to him as she had many times before. And just as invariably, he embraced her with open arms. Through the countless estrangements, and despite her impetuous spirit, she forever remained his sweetheart, his valentine - his love.
When asked why he so often forgave her, the young man simply replied, “Because I love her.” You see, Hosea loved Gomer with a love deeper than mere emotion, deeper then mutual convenience, deeper than the fiercest of love. He loved her with the love of God – the self-sacrificing, ever-enduring, never-ending love beyond human measure. His love illustrates the perfect portrait of God’s love for us.
Jesus waits for his chosen people, his bride, his church - you and me. With open arms He languishes for our return. With an undying love, he longs for his Runaway Bride.
(Love) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
- 1 Corinthians 13: 8 (NIV)
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