When he came to her rescue, it was not done delicately. She was in the back of the parlor where the lewd work was done. She was naked in the dim light. The Johns gawked and ogled, lined up on the far side of the room by the back door. This was her place of private performance.
Floodlights streamed through the windows, neon sparked overhead illuminating it all. The Johns? They disappeared like the dark in a halogen bulb and she was left standing bare naked. Shamed and exposed.
The parlor was shut down, police tape strung across the entrance and a sign placed over the door—Closed; Place of Prostitution. Adding insult to the injury, he hired out the graffiti artist on the corner to paint “Whore’s Palace” on the street-facing wall. The signs were placed to shame the Johns, as much as anything. The neighborhood knew the men who went in and out of her parlor.
And for all of this exposed shame, her sullied reputation, she was forever grateful all these years later. Private dancing pays the bills, sure. Maybe it’s sexy when you’re young.
But ain’t no John ever coming to your rescue.
Mike issued a bit of a challenge. “Jot some thoughts on Hosea 2,” he said. As I read it I was struck by two observations:
1) I quickly identify with Hosea, not Gomer (Lord, forgive me);
2) and, 2) verses 9-13 are hard core.
Yes, I said it. Hard core.
There is nothing gentle about the way in which this metaphor plays out. Before her restoration, Gomer’s life is reduced to ashes. The tables turn as her nakedness becomes the source of her shame instead of the source of her profit (v. 9-10). Her economies are burned (v. 11-12). She is publically punished (v. 13) (my lands, she’s arguably the most famous prostitute in the bible).
If I’m Gomer, do I love this kind of rescue? It is certainly something short of the knight in shining armor, white horse, and all of that.
I think verses 14-23 make all that exposition worth it, but I will let you mull that over today. I’ll let you muse about that in your own journals. Because that’s the personal part of all of our stories. And I don’t want to mess with that.
Thanks for stopping by. You people are some of the good ones.