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The Alluring God

... because sometimes we ~ I ~ need reminding ...

by Hillary McFarland

The Word speaks: Let there be light.
The earth crowns, the will of God who says let there be life, and we crown into light.
     Fresh and new and shy, our baby hands clutch mama-skirts to hide when others look at us. But soon we run, we run around like wild things who worry not what others think; we climb trees while hair frizzes a golden halo and our cheeks blush like apples and our toes peek through sneakers. But we don't mind because we are six or nine and we sing at the top of our lungs that the hills are alive with the sound of music, and they are ...
     Years collect like memories, like photographs; we grow fifteen and shy while hills grow quiet. Hearts blush like maples in fall, but every hair is in place and hands smooth our own skirts and we hide behind trees instead of perching in them.
     We grow old in soul. Melody is memory as feet shuffle dust and we strain to hear and see the One who spoke the dark :: light, who breathed into lungs the light of life. We are tired and hungry; we ache, and our face is etched with the fine tip of years. Our heart is carved up and arms are weary and why do we even try? 

Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up
From the land of Egypt.
Hosea 2:14-15

     Do not be afraid of the barren place, of the wilderness, for God spills holy into ground and brings His light to dark, His life to dead, and living water to the waterless. He breaks Egypt's arms and yokes us with His grace; He builds His temple from abandoned ruins and dwells there, with the lowly of us and the weak, the foolish, the base, and the despised.  The forsaken He gathers close and He makes dry bones dance and turns desert to wine and collects tears in crystal and He loves you!

image source: www.sxc.hu

You see the back of her
Because she faces Jesus.

You see her while she walks away
Because she follows Jesus.

You see her on a lonely road
Because few find
The narrow way that leads to life.

You see her, perhaps, half-dead
Because she is in the business
Of dying everyday.

You see her forsaken
Because she has left all 
to follow Him.

You see her struggle along the way
Because she takes up her cross.

You see her lost
Because she loses her life
To be found by Life.
You see her in a wilderness
Because that’s where God 
Plants vineyards. 

(hosea 2)

     Oh beloved, this is the place where trees clap hands like joyful little children! Where the hills are alive with the sound of music and He makes our feet like the feet of a deer and sets us on high places because we love Him because He loves us and behold, old things have passed away and all things have become newly birthed ...
... from the womb of mercy.
     The She Speaks Conference is about women connecting the hearts of women to the heart of our Father God.  I am His handmaiden and my heart is to serve Him and His beloved daughters, as He leads. Would you like a scholarship to this conference? Please visit this post at A Holy Experience to discover an opportunity for you to serve our Father in this way. I just discovered this last night so many apologies at the last minute posting. And many thanks to Ann Voskamp for making this opportunity available. 
     Humble thanks to the God who woos me to the desert ~ may it be to me according to Your word.
This post is an updated offering from the archives.


  1. Love it! Thank you for writing. You are a refreshing spring to a weary traveler.

  2. I love this - always loved those verses, and the poem is great. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Those Hosea two verses are some of my favorite verses in the Bible. After being chewed up and spit out either by our own actions or the actions of others, it's so good to know that God has a gentle call that lures us away to His presence where He wants to speak kindly to our hearts (my translation) and comfort.

  4. Hillary, have you seen/heard/read this book "Half the Church"? It seems like something you might be interested in.



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